The Metagids #2: Trapped in the metaverse, rampage over Web3 and TikTok bigger than Google

Last week my eyes fell on two major events that received strangely little attention in the Dutch media. While, in my opinion, both events really determine the direction in which the metaverse develops.

Most visited TikTok website in 2021

First, Cloudfare, a cloud infrastructure company that measures internet traffic, announced that TikTok was the world’s most visited website in 2021. The short film app, which has attracted more than 1 billion monthly visitors Since the beginning of this year, it has supplanted the search engine Google, which has led the ranking of the most popular websites since 2014. Thanks in part to the pandemic, TikTok has been able to experience explosive growth. According to parent company ByteDance, TiKTok is THE to go youth site.

It is frankly shocking that TikTok is not or barely regulated. The past shows that this social media platform also has a jet black side. For example, a recent study by The Wall Street Journal found that the app’s algorithms direct minors to videos about sex, drugs, and eating disorders. Deepfakes, fake news, and conspiracy theories, such as the School Shooting Challenge, are also enthusiastically shared on the platform, making it nearly impossible for the average user to tell fake from real any longer. And privacy is not taken very seriously. No one knows exactly how the Chinese company handles user data. Haven’t we learned anything from Facebook and all its excesses? What the hell could go wrong?

Fittie on Web3 among the Internet greats

The second major event that took place is the match where various internet greats fought against each other online. For example, Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, critically questioned the Web3 philosophy. “You don’t own ‘web3’. The VCs and their LPs yes”, Dorsey tweeted to his more than 6 million followers. “He will never escape his incentives. Ultimately, it is a centralized entity with a different label. Know what you’re getting into…” Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, responded to this as follows“Has anyone seen web3? I can not find which dorsey answered“It’s somewhere between a and z”, which led to it being blocked by Andreessen Horowitz’s Twitter account.

According to Dorsey and Musk, Web3 has become the trading toy of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, breaking the promise of a decentralized internet without gatekeepers. The point is that Web3 and its dependent metaverse is currently more fiction than reality. The promises are through the roof and it is highly questionable whether they will ever be fulfilled. Should the realization of these ideas be in the hands of companies like a16z and Meta? To ask the question is to answer it… The articles that colored the metaverse even more this week are the following:

1. The Web3 Renaissance: A Golden Age For Content: The author Li Jin comes from the a16z school and last year she devoted herself entirely to the development of the so-called Creator Economy. She in her article describes how the introduction of digital scarcity it should lead to a new revenue model where the money flows back to the original creators without all sorts of middlemen stealing a big chunk of it. The question is how far is this vision from reality?

2. TikTok is opening 300 restaurants: One of the most popular corners of the platform is #FoodTok, where users share all kinds of recipes and food preparation methods. Now the social media giant is trying to capitalize on this. A ghost kitchen formula now sells the most popular and viral dishes across 300 restaurants. Great to see how a digital hit is rolling out into the physical world and has the potential to reach a billion customers.

3. Here’s what’s really going on with that video of a woman nursing a cat: The internet got worse when a video showing a woman nursing a cat on a plane was widely shared. Obviously a hoax, but the video had all the ingredients to create controversy: a hysterical white woman – a “Karen” – on a plane and a cat. Here, too, the division between real and false had disappeared: what is fact or fiction? What is still true or reality? Questions that are only becoming more important in the emerging metaverse.

Four. Trapped in the metaverse: this is what 24 hours in virtual reality feels like – Reporter Joanna Stern investigated what it means to immerse yourself in virtual reality for 24 hours for The Wallstreet Journal. She even with 3D glasses she fell asleep. After watching the video she didn’t know if she should be happy or sad about the future that Stern presents us with.

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