Thinking

Facebook: Illuminating the Future of Social Media and Connection

Alex Schultz
VP of Analytics, CMO Meta

Facebook, owned by media powerhouse Meta, is leading the way to constant connection in both the real world and the virtual one. 

At Connect 2021, Facebook’s parent company announced its rebrand to Meta, a signal of its expansion beyond social media into social technology. In the two years following, Meta has invested heavily in the AI and VR spaces, building the metaverse into something that is nearly synonymous with its own name. 

“We have leaned on our deep knowledge and experience in AI to help shape the future of our technologies,” VP of Analytics and CMO of Meta Alex Schultz said.  

Facebook has stood as an AI pioneer for over a decade, deploying advanced technologies since the introduction of Feed in 2006. Today, Meta is integrating new generative AI features to make its social platforms even more immersive for users, as recently announced at Meta Connect 2023

“We believe the next trend in technology will use more AI, including AI based on how you interact without any other human input, like our AI characters launched at Connect,” Schutz said. “We believe the next wave will also be more deeply embodied and immersive, continuing the trend of text to photos to videos, and we believe the natural endpoint is the metaverse.” 

Throughout its journey to pioneer the next level of connection through existing platforms and the metaverse alike, Meta has kept its six core values—Move Fast, Focus on Long-Term Impact, Build Awesome Things, Live In The Future, Be Direct and Respect Your Colleagues, and Meta, Metamates, Me—at the core of its moves. 

Alongside these values, Meta’s foundational purpose, “Helping people feel connected and closer,” has paved its path to innovation and technological progress. “Move fast” in particular has helped Meta maintain a competitive edge in AI innovation. 

The company is also focused on ensuring that safety accompanies speed at the forefront of new innovations. Meta remains committed to responsible technology use, actively collaborating with policymakers, academics, and civil society to establish best practices and policies. 

Meta’s dedication to customer intelligence integration across the organization is pivotal in creating a unified, brand-led experience. 

With more than 3.9 billion monthly users across its products, Meta places significant importance on analytics and performance marketing for continued growth. 

“I always say that retention is the most important element for growth,” said Schultz. 

Meta staffs a wide-reaching decentralized research team that sits alongside product teams, linking research and strategy as closely as possible. Additionally, a central team ensures quality, with additional product marketing teams working with sales and marketing. This unique structure creates a highly-effective research engine within Meta, fueling innovation and ever-evolving growth. 

“I’d say this hybrid decentralized model, with strong central centers of excellence, product marketing partnership and executive sponsorship is how we get this done,” Schultz said. “Personally I think it’s a real strength of the company.” 

When it comes to brand monitoring, Meta employs an equally rigorous approach that has reversed a multi-year negative trend in brand sentiment, according to Schultz. This approach is centered around monitoring the impact of products on user experience, directly linking experience to the health of the overall brand. 

“For Meta, it is about innovation that gives you agency to connect how you want,” Schultz said. 

By upholding its heritage as one of the drivers of the social media boom while embracing innovation through AI and VR platforms, Meta finds unique strengths in each of its top-level brands fostering social discovery for Facebook at speed by creating products customers love. 

“The main thing that drives our brands as a company is our products and how the billions of people who use our products experience them,” Schultz said. “No advertising campaign or communications strategy alone can beat that.” 

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