18 years have passed since that distant 2004 which marked a turning point in the field of social relations of the contemporary world. There technological revolution which had its genesis in the late eighties and early nineties – even if there are those who refer to the great English mathematician Alan Turingwhich during the Nazis created the first cryptographic machine to decipher the Enigma codeused by the Germans for military communications – was bringing millions of people around the world to become familiar with a new furniture: the personal computer it entered American and European homes as 50 years earlier had happened for the refrigerator and washing machine.
One new toolof those seen in films or in newspaper editorial offices: a device with which a lucky few had already interacted and which step by step was becoming accessible to all. The great novelty it brought with it – and whose historical significance was not perceived at the time – was in the fact that, thanks to that modem connected to the telephone network and to that screen fixed on the desk, wives and husbands of every family could interconnect with any other personit was a few kilometers away or on the other side of the planet.
Mark Zuckerberg, the rise and fall of the Harvard student who revolutionized the world of the web
As often happens, beyond the scientists who are experts in the field, the first to grasp the frightening potential of all this they were the youngest. Especially those who, having crossed the stage of adolescence and undertaken the adult stage, enjoyed the former necessary knowledge to handle the area, but above all of the mental flexibility typical of those who still have their whole life ahead of them.
Among these, in that distant 2004 there was a Harvard University studentthen in his early twenties, who had the intuition to throw one web platform through which the students enrolled in the prestigious American college could exchange information, upload material, share documents and make something personal public “by posting it on their own page“. The technical jargon began to vary and so it was born Facebook: since then that young man named Mark Zuckerberg he embarked on a virtuous spiral that has led him today, at the age of 38, to be one of the richest and most influential men in the world.
From Facebook to WhatsApp, via Instagram: is the reign of Mark Zuckerberg in danger?
Success begins in 2007, when Microsoft buys 1.6% of the shares. Five years later Facebook is listed on the stock exchange for a value of 104 billion dollars, a figure never reached before by such a young company. Meanwhile another social network (this is the name that begins to circulate on everyone’s lips) is launched by two boys from Stanford and begins to depopulate in the United States: his name is Instagram and revolves around the sharing photos. In 2012 Zuckerberg buys it for one billion dollars and the following year introduces the possibility of post short videoswhich shortly after are followed by the “stories“So much in vogue nowadays.
This young engineer with a brilliant mind and a business flair is not satisfied and in 2014 he also buys Whatsappthe instant messaging platform that is still downloaded and used daily by over 2 billion users worldwide. The investment is a sumptuous one (19 billion dollars), but his assets now travel along that wavelength and Zuckerberg has no intention whatsoever of curbing his entrepreneurial ambitions.
From the beginnings at Harvard to the presentation of Meta: has Mark Zuckerberg’s parable reached its peak?
The last stage of this unimaginable journey (let us come forward who had even hypothesized it in 2004) was a few months ago, precisely in October, when it was presented Halfthe new version of his company that check all the products acquired over time: the name derives from the ancient Greek and refers to metaverse concepta virtual reality populated by avatar who live and interact just like human beings in flesh and blood, even if they are not.
Today, however, many people point out that, for the first time in its history, the parable of Mark Zuckerberg seems to have reached a point of decline. The numbers testify to this, which photograph a difficult situation like never before: for the first year Meta scored a decrease in revenues more than 1% (28.8 billion this year compared to 29.1 in 2021). Earnings also fell by 3.4 billion (36%) compared to June last year, stopping at an altitude 6.7 billion in the quarter between April and June against i 10.4 billion twelve months ago. And also the financial actions – which has always been the object of the wishes of large international investors – have lost about 40% of its value.
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In all of this Facebook is increasingly seen as the space reserved for older users (a category that today includes all people over 40), while the younger generations seem unable to resist the charm of TikTokthe social network of Chinese origin that from 2016 onwards is showing a growth potential which to date seems unstoppable: the risk that Zuckerberg knows well is that Instagram itself will soon be supplanted in the role of leading platform for sharing photos and short films accompanied by background music.
“The world is changing and we will have to change too,” he said in these days Adam Mosserithe number one of Instagram, who with these words baptized the end of social networks for how they were conceived. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and his resigning deputy Sheryl Sandberg – which will soon be replaced by Susan Li – attributed the blame to one economic recession which “will have a broad impact on business of digital advertising”, But they themselves know better than anyone else that i Meta products they will need new exclusive features to be appreciated by users all over the world: the boy from Harvard will be able to ride yet another revolution?