Big bets from Amazon, Google and Meta didn’t pay off in 2022

It was not the best year for Big Tech. In 2022, the economy plummeted, stocks plummeted, inflation skyrocketed, and belts tightened. Silicon Valley has been one of the hardest hit places, in part because some of its companies have experienced such explosive and sustained growth for so long that it was nearly impossible to stop or even slow down that growth. And yet, we are here.

When ominous phrases like “economic obstacles” and business models we flipped over, tech companies have realized that it may be time to cut a few money-losing projects and initiatives. Some of them were big projects in which companies are investing a lot of resources, hoping that some of it will pay off and, according to Google, “redefine humanity.” As those resources dried up, efforts that would never see the light of day became obvious targets for cutbacks. Some of what was cut were far less ambitious products or services that simply didn’t turn a profit, and the deteriorating economy has made the runway much shorter for them.

And then there’s Meta, which continues to invest huge amounts of money in the metaverse – something that may never pay off – because Mark Zuckerberg insists that this is the future of his company, as well as the Internet. But even those funds now have to come from somewhere else in the company.

While the end of some things will probably do little for the future of our planet, the end of some of these humanity-redefining moonshots could be a greater loss. Again, none of them, except perhaps Waymoever really succeeded. At least one of them Alphabet project called Mineral who wants to make food production more sustainable is now being used by a gardener to explore strawberrieswhich looks like it will help the gardener and Google more than anyone else.

Here are some ambitious gambles and better-grounded projects that didn’t pay off in 2022:

Meta was in big trouble in 2022. App privacy changes Apple implemented in 2021 that allowed users to opt out of being tracked across apps cost the company billions. Meta relies on some of this data to target ads to you and to be able to tell companies how those ads are performing, allowing them to sell more ads for more money.

In 2022, we will say goodbye to Meta’s Portal.
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

In November, Meta laid off more than 11,000 employees as its shares continued to fall to historic lows. This reduction also meant parting ways with some non-Metaverse hardware. never did much at least for Meta. TEAR Portal, the camera Facebook put in your kitchen. Also smart watch who never had a chance to see the world. Can Meta smart sunglasses be next? The Bulletin newsletter service, which never caught on like Substack (Twitter), also dwindled. cut your own newsletter, Revue, though it’s not clear if the economy or new Twitter owner Elon Musk is to blame). The Meta Experimental Product Group is now reportedly shrinking to only focus on short videos (very TikTok!), and more recently malfunction its connectivity division, which has developed or improved ways to access the Internet.

Google and its parent company Alphabet are doing better than Meta in 2022. because of some layoffs are coming soon too. His famous “moon shot factory” X has achievement list failures even at the best of times. The One X project, Loon, which tried to use weather balloons to transmit internet to remote areas and closed in 2021, has been spun off into an independent company. Area 120, Google’s incubator where employees worked on experimental ideas for the company, has been closed. reduced. Pixelbook, Google’s attempt at an expensive Chromebook, has failed. out of production. There is big cuts in the Google Assistant team. And Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming service, will Shutdown in January. Google also just pulled out construction of a long-planned data center (Meta also canceled work in data centers).

Amazon also ran into some problems. Layoffs are looming, and in 2022 alone, its stock price has fallen by 50 percent. Company is an the closure or abandonment of plans to build several storage and delivery facilities. There are also product reductions, including a reduction message Amazon Alexa voice assistant, which costs a lot but brings little (just like Google Assistant). Glow, a video call device for kids, ready just a year after debut. Amazon Care telemedicine service will end when 2022 rolls around — although this year Amazon also spent billions acquiring another primary care and telemedicine service, One Medical. It is reported that the Grand Challenge laboratory, similar to Amazon’s moonshot arm malfunction three of their five projects in October. And Wickr, the end-to-end encrypted messaging app acquired by Amazon. just last yearwill end its free version at the end of 2023, which will also end the cloud storage service. Drive.

Google Stadia controller.

Controller for the Google Stadia cloud gaming platform, which will close in a few weeks.
Ollie Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Imag

And then there are Apple and Microsoft. They’ve been around longer and therefore have more experience with economic downturns, which may be why they’re both doing better than their rivals. Apple’s take on the VR headset is still reportedly on the way in 2023, although the mysterious Apple Car is already apparently was cut (it won’t be fully autonomous) and delayed for another year. Perhaps it has more to do with the lack of technology than with the economy. However, Apple is expanding its promotional offerings, which could be a way to generate additional revenue at a time when people are cutting back on spending, perhaps including purchases of Apple devices. As for Microsoft, it some layoffs in 2022 and appears to be making efforts to get back into the consumer market. on pause. His HoloLens VR headset also appears to be some questions. But the company has endured much worse times, and has had much more expensive flops over the years.

There are also several abbreviations associated with Big Tech. Snap, which has been particularly hard hit by changes in the advertising industry, out of production his short-lived Pixy selfie drone, stock refilled and it laid off thousands of employees. Snap also gets more aggressive about monetizing their AR division. Kitty Hawk, Larry Page’s attempt at flying cars, made crash landings a reality and malfunction. Twitter has been destroyed, but we can safely blame it on other factors.

Some streaming platforms are also struggling. Once one of the most successful stories in the business, Netflix is ​​losing subscribers and being forced to introduce ads, which has long been a taboo for the company. Disney+ simple rolled out its own cheaper advertising tier while raising the price of an ad-free offer. The Warner Media-Discovery merger resulted in major changes and cutbacks. CNN+ was live less than a monthwhile HBO Max shut down several projects that were in development, and remote other shows from the entire platform.

So, yes, not the best year for Big Tech, Big Tech related companies and cool experiments that took many years and dollars to have a chance of success. The buzzwords that promised to be the future of the industry earlier this year — Web3, the metaverse, crypto — have faded for now, if not forever. We are only now seeing the potential of generative AI, led not by a tech giant but by a relatively new company called OpenAI. For all its lucrative projects, Big Tech may have missed its own future. At least until the next big event happens.

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