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Meta News: Cicero, Instagram NFTs and Market Chatter

Cicero AI potential explained + Instagram's new focus on NFTs

Ahoy Metamates! 🚢 🏴‍☠️

And welcome to That’s So Meta. This newsletter looks at hard data, Wall Street analyst opinions, interviews with employees and leadership and industry competitive data.

No hype, just facts.

🦃 The TLDR Over The Holiday Break:

  • Hedge fund Tortoise Fund beat 99% of funds with a contrarian bet on Meta here

  • Ami Vora, formerly VP of Product and Design for WhatsApp, now CPO @ Faire

  • In the past two weeks about 7,000 Meta staff signed up for Blind, with 3 in 4 workers now on the site. (Business Insider as of Nov 20)

  • Meta follows Coinbase in banning sensitive discussions at work here

When the cats’s away…

The top analysts are still quiet on the Meta layoffs - that’s fueling some unhealthy speculation among professional traders. Barchart just reported on options put strategies that are gaining steam. Put = betting stock will go down.

Here’s the recap as of Nov 28 ‘23:

  • 216 open selling contacts

  • Trading strategies are hoping for a 6.3% drop in price to profit

  • This is putting strong downward pressure on the stock.

Personally, looking at overall trading volumes, I have to disagree with Barchart’s assessment here. Even though puts are gaining steam, I see more traders betting on the price going up instead:

Source: Refinitiv as of Nov 28 '

TLDR: There’s some fear mongering in the market right now. IMHO jury’s out until I see the next Morgan Stanley report.

Why Cicero is a HUGE deal

If you recall from earlier issues of That's So Meta, Wall Street was perplexed at the AI spend at Meta. It was seen as low ROI effort by analysts and many dunked on the stock, pushing towards the layoffs.

Cicero, an AI trained to play the game Diplomacy, has the potential to change this narrative in a big way.

How this can make a ton of money:

AI assistants today can only complete linear tasks. You can ask Alexa to order you a pillow or Siri about the weather - but you can't hold a complex conversation with either of them. But you can with Cicero, you can. Not only that, but unlike AI that can generate content, Cicero is able to understand undertones in negotiation and tie them into its strategy, holding continuous conversations.

The financial opportunity here is massive:

  • Cicero can be trained to teach you skills, like learning a new language

  • It can replace humans in sales negotiations

  • It can power immersive gaming experiences where NPCs feel more real

Cicero can power immersive sales experiences that have the potential to displace whole professions and create efficiencies in multiple arms of Meta's business, especially WhatsApp and Horizon.

Instagram NFT Marketplace

Instagram plans to let you buy NFTs without using crypto - this is currently being tested live with a small group of creators in the US and expected to roll out widely mid next year. Meta will not charge creators fees thought 2024.

The high level:

  • Creators can create NFT collections to sell

  • They can also charge a commission rate on resale of their artwork

  • Meta plans to pass Appstore fees onto creators - that's 30%

What's interesting is that this is coming at a time when Opensea is struggling substantially:

  • Opensea trade volume dropped 90% from the Jan '22 peak of $4.85B (source)

  • CryptoPunks floor price has dropped around 20% from its July high

This Opensea graph tells it all:

📚 Good Reads This Week:

  • How developers at Meta reduce code review time read here

  • Did Meta Pixel scrape people's tax data without permission ? read here

  • The latest in the antitrust saga against Meta here

Up next ❤️:

On Monday Subscribers Will Read: Is Meta’s Creator Economy a Bust? Competitive analysis deep dive and monetization.

The information provided herein is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice and should not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation of any security by That's So Meta, its employees and affiliates, or any third-party. Any expressions of opinion or assumptions are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results and the opinions presented herein should not be viewed as an indicator of future performance. Investing in securities involves risk. Loss of principal is possible.Third-party data has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however, its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed.