Technology Featured ANZ

Meta to provide free AR, VR training to Australian creators via learning academy

Australia Tech giant Meta, in collaboration with social enterprise Code Like a Girl and global creative studio T&DA, has launched the Meta Immersive Learning Academy in Australia — a global initiative to support the next generation of creators for the metaverse.

Through this partnership, Meta will be training a cohort of over 200 women and Code Like a Girl community members in 2023 to impart the confidence, tools, knowledge, and support they need to enter the world of immersive technologies.

The academy will provide free, guided training in immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, as well as a place for community building, mentoring and even monetisation opportunities. The curriculum also features the work of prominent Australian AR creators, Jess Herrington and Raymond Leung. 

Over an eight-week period, Meta will provide learners with training and coaching, and participants who complete the course will be able to develop face filters, target tracker, and world effects through its AR studio Meta Spark. It will also give participants information sessions and community-building events for women to connect and build networks.

Lastly, the participants can apply for a formal Meta Spark certification upon completion of the course.

Meta will also be launching free, self-guided Meta Spark training modules, which will be available on the MILA Australia website. 

“As so many companies build for the metaverse, we’re seeing exciting opportunities for creators to build their business – whether it’s through creating new experiences; designing accessories for avatars; or making the effects that bring augmented reality to life – we want to support creators to make a living,” said Mia Garlick, Meta’s regional lead for APAC.

Ally Watson, CEO and founder of Code Like a Girl, also commented, “We’re delighted to bring this program and cutting edge curriculum to the Code Like a Girl community where it will introduce a much-needed diverse range of creators into the Metaverse – leading us towards more equitable experiences for all genders.”

Raymond Leung, creative director at T&DA also shared his excitement over the Meta Spark curriculum. He likewise mentioned that the program will teach Australians how to effectively use Meta Spark to drive innovation and growth. 

“As the demand for digital skills continues to rise, we believe it’s essential to equip individuals and businesses with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. By leveraging our expertise in education and training and META’s cutting-edge technology, we are confident that the Meta Spark Curriculum will provide valuable insights and practical applications for individuals at all levels,” he added. 

Previously, Meta has also unveiled new features for its social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, including a new broadcast channel for Instagram and Meta Verified.

Marketing Featured Global

Meta says ‘no good way’ to lay off amidst latest downsizing

California, USA Facebook’s parent company Meta has recently broken the disheartening news that it’s now joining the slew of tech companies that have decided to downsize. In a message by CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed by Meta on its website, the chief said, “there is no good way to do a layoff.”  

Meta has decided to reduce its workforce by 13% or translate into a retrenchment of more than 11,000 employees. It is one of the largest layoffs this year for the company, and the firm cites low revenue, attributed to  ‘macroeconomic downturn’ and ‘increased competition’ as the reasons.

According to the company, when Covid initially started, the spike in online and e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. Meta is one of the companies that predicted a permanent acceleration that would last even after the pandemic, which is not what exactly transpired. Meta said it significantly increased its investments, resulting in much lower revenue than expected once everything returned to normal.

This is the first time in Meta’s 18-year history that it has reduced its workforce. 

“I’m going to watch our business performance, operational efficiency, and other macroeconomic factors to determine whether and how much we should resume hiring at that point. This will give us the ability to control our cost structure in the event of a continued economic downturn. It will also put us on a path to achieve a more efficient cost structure than we outlined to investors recently,” said Zuckerberg. 

He added, “I view layoffs as a last resort, so we decided to rein in other sources of cost before letting teammates go. Overall, this will add up to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate. For example, as we shrink our real estate footprint, we’re transitioning to desk sharing for people who already spend most of their time outside the office. We’ll roll out more cost-cutting changes like this in the coming months. “

The company stated that it will share more information in the coming weeks about how it will operate as a streamlined organisation to achieve its priorities.

Recently, Big Tech Companies have struggled to deal with setbacks, with other tech firms cutting off staff count such as Oracle, Twitter, Snap, and Netflix

Platforms Featured Global

Facebook Live Shopping ends October this year

Singapore – Facebook Live Shopping is set to end its service on October 1 this year, parent company Meta said in an announcement. With it, users can no longer create product playlists or tag products during live streams.

However, Facebook Live to broadcast live events will still be available. According to Meta, the move is made to direct the shift of live shopping on Instagram.

“As consumers’ viewing behaviours are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” the company stated.

Meta invites users to do live shopping events on Instagram, as well as tag products in Reels on Instagram to enable deeper discovery and consideration.

Facebook Live Shopping was first introduced in 2021 as a way to combine live video and the convenience of online shopping. According to Meta back then, Facebook Live Shopping offers a chance to build relationships with customers, provide new entertaining content, answer questions and streamline the purchase process through convenient checkout.

Facebook had also pulled the plug for its podcast service in May this year.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Tealium, Meta release APAC report on state of businesses amid impending loss of third party cookies

Sydney, Australia – Global customer data company Tealium and Meta has released a joint report which studied what it will take for businesses in APAC to succeed in the face of third-party cookie deprecation next year. The report found that businesses who prioritise gaining the trust of their customers through properly balancing personalisation with privacy will be best poised for successful long-term performance across industries.

The report showed that while APAC leads the charge globally in both the volume of online consumers and demand for personalisation, businesses in the region are underprepared for the impending loss of third-party cookies in 2023.

Marie-Louise Dalton, Tealium’s Vice President of Marketing, Asia-Pacific and Japan, shared, “As brands rely more heavily on first-party data in their marketing strategies, establishing a trusted value exchange with consumers will be more important than ever.” 

Businesses are tasked with closely monitoring their respective regional privacy policies as they develop their strategy, the report indicates. That means building privacy into the framework and using data management tools to create a complete view of their customer based on the privacy choices that they have made.

Nadia Tan, Meta’s Director of Business Ecosystem Partnerships, Asia-Pacific, commented, “We understand that businesses are dealing with various challenges, including the decline in online performance and difficulties in attribution; businesses need to strike a balance between driving performance, while respecting people’s privacy.”

Some of the report’s key observations include:

  • The APAC region is both a conundrum and a cause for optimism, with exceptionally high awareness of data privacy rights, desire for personalised experiences, and apparent openness to sharing data.
  • Businesses must think more deliberately in terms of a trusted value exchange and act decisively to enable it, using first-party data to give their customers useful content and enhanced service.
  • Companies still tend to be poorly equipped to develop data-first strategies, due to a deluge of consumer data from multiple sources and silos hindering visibility and effective usage.
  • At the same time, the use of customer data platforms (CDPs) and other data management tools is increasing as a means to collect, consolidate and unlock data, while maintaining customer trust.
  • The key for businesses is integrating consent management effectively into their personalisation strategies. Privacy is not a barrier, and customers will ultimately determine how personalised their experiences will be across platforms.

The report concludes with five key actions that businesses in APAC can take right now to deliver better experiences and performance, with privacy and personalisation at their core.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Meta’s latest campaign for APAC spotlights ingenuity of SMBs

Singapore Meta has launched a new campaign in APAC that aims to showcase the ingenuity of small businesses across the region. The campaign, ‘Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found’, was done together with Sydney-based independent creative agency Now We Collide.  

The campaign consists of a series of 15-second advertisements and highlights the stories of nine different SMBs from countries in the region including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea as well as the Philippines, and Thailand.

Each of the creative executions centres on revealing the ‘invisible’ product of a small business. One shows a boy wearing a bike helmet and pads apparently floating along before an Instagram ad unit reveals the bike he is riding. Another features a woman who looks like she is practising Jiu-Jitsu only by herself,  before revealing that she is, in fact, sparring with her instructor.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the tools and resources available to help small businesses connect with new audiences and expand their businesses online. It’s based on the premise that there are millions of fantastic ideas ‘floating around’, and that it can be challenging to make it stand out from the rest. 

Alex Sloane, director of marketing, Meta Australia & New Zealand, said that the last two years have been uniquely testing times for SMBs, providing some serious challenges with store closures and new opportunities with the explosion in digital retail.

“With this campaign, we wanted to draw attention to the wealth of resources available to help them use digital tools to even better effect, with the potential to create truly global businesses. We genuinely believe that ‘Good ideas deserve to be found.’ and can come from anywhere,” Sloane added.

Ryan Bodger, chief creative officer for Now We Collide, shared, how excited they are to be involved in a campaign that would help out many SMBs across APAC, especially as it was filmed during one of the more challenging periods of the pandemic.

Bodger emphasised, “We had to grapple with these challenges as well, and our team was able to bring to life these stories from all across Asia either filming remotely or in-studio and on location in Sydney.”

“By bringing the client into the studio ‘virtually’, we were able to closely collaborate throughout the production process, making approvals frictionless. We streamlined the process through live video offline edit sessions, bringing together various stakeholders from different locations across the globe,” Bodger adds.

Meanwhile, Keir Maher, chief executive officer of Now We Collide, commented, that one of the more positive things the pandemic has given them is the ability to work in ways we never thought possible. 

Maher added, “Quick adaptation to change has always been part of the Now We Collide DNA, but now it is built into our production processes and methodologies. This campaign is testament to our abilities as a nimble and effective team.”

The campaign will be distributed via digital channels and Meta-owned platforms through Dentsu Media.

Marketing Featured Global

Facebook unveils new company name: Meta

California, USA – In line with the company’s vision in bringing the metaverse into life, tech conglomerate Facebook has announced the company’s new name called ‘Meta’ during its recently-concluded Connect 2021 conference last 28 October, where they laid out plans on the vision of the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet.

Prior to the company name change, Facebook had already revealed interests in developing metaverse-related endeavors, such as their recent US$50m investment in research programs that will explore how to develop the digital metaverse responsibly.

In a company statement, they noted that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. They also added that it will let audiences share immersive experiences with other people even when not being together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.

“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, now Meta, said in an online letter posted on Facebook.

He added, “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”

Zuckerberg further added that their role in this metaverse journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms, and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps.

“The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies. We believe the metaverse can enable better social experiences than anything that exists today, and we will dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential,” he stated.

As part of the ‘Meta’ announcement, the company has also announced new tools to help people build for the metaverse, including Presence Platform, which will enable new mixed reality experiences on Quest 2, and a US$150m investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.