Wall Street’s darlings have big 2022 plans
at its Menlo Park headquarters, Meta (formerly Facebook) has a lot on its table. for starters, it has opened its Virtual reality (VR) gaming experience Horizon Worlds for America and Canada and is readying the Metaverse for the rest of the world. its VR headset brand, Oculus, which will soon be renamed Meta Quest, will be part of this virtual world.
just 38 kilometers away in Los Gatos, entertainment giant Netflix has similar plans. building on its idea of the Metaverse, Netflix has hired a former Oculus executive to lead its interactive gaming efforts. and now, it is doubling down on its gaming plans by adding exclusive titles.
as these plans get shaped in California, Tesla’s Elon Musk, sitting 2,500 kilometers away in Austin, is still struggling to wrap his head around the ‘Metaverse’ concept. Musk’s attention is fully devoted to firming up production plans by investing over $10 billion for its Model Y at the Gigafactory Texas.
Tesla, Meta, and Netflix, the darling companies of Wall Street, have lots in store for 2022. going deeper, here is a glimpse of what these three companies have planned for the coming year:
in 2021, Facebook rebranded itself to Meta. in 2022, the social media platform’s efforts will focus on developing an interconnected world built with the internet, VR, and augmented reality. the thrust will also be on strengthening its presence in the creator economy by investing over $1 billion in 2022. this investment will translate into rewards for creators on Meta and Instagram so that uploading creative posts, audio, and video on these platforms becomes a source of living.
Meta also wants creators to develop products exclusively for all its platforms. the company will set up a Creator Accelerator Program in early 2022, apart from partnering with studios and developers for paid VR opportunities.
expanding the artificial intelligence capabilities is also on its radar, as Meta has tied up with Amazon Web Services to be the cloud partner. simultaneously, it is setting aside capital of $29-34 billion in 2022 on data centers and servers compared to $19 billion in 2021. apart from the steady expansion in AR/VR space, the company will also build features for its live audio rooms.
the entertainment platform’s mission is to ensure that its applications stay open on user devices at all times. calling its version of Metaverse a ‘deep universe’, Netflix’s COO and chief product officer Greg Peters had said that developing immersive content is the goal. to this effect, the first launch was its short video platform ‘Fast Laughs’ in March 2021. this was quickly followed by its merchandise platform in June.
in November, the company entered the gaming space by offering free games to all subscribers. it is now focused on improving its mobile gaming experience, bolstering its anime content efforts by simultaneously adding new titles and developing games in-house. VFX will be a key focus in 2022, with the company acquiring Munich-based VFX studio Scanline VFX.
it’s not just screen content alone. for book aficionados, the platform is developing a book club where Orange Is The New Black star Uzo Aduba will speak to authors whose books were made into OTT films/series.
despite the streams of expansion, Netflix continues to face tough competition. it has reduced its base subscription price for the first time in India to Rs 199 monthly from Rs 499. this, coupled with its strategy to become the one-stop shop for entertainment, is what could drive its 2022 growth trajectory.
the electric-vehicle maker’s focal point for 2022 will be expanding its multiple gigafactories. this includes expansion of its Shanghai factory at a cost of $188 million, rolling out production in its Berlin facility, and starting operations at the $1.06 billion Texas factory.
on the product front as well, Tesla is expected to post a surge with reports pegging the company to reach 1.3 million deliveries in 2022 compared to 900,000 deliveries in 2021. this is because while the auto industry suffered from supply chain disruptions owing to a semiconductor shortage, Tesla manufactured its own chips. the same strategy will continue for 2022 as well, where Musk revealed that there will be a ‘good capacity’ for providing chips.
informally, the EV maker has arrived in India by testing its Model 3 across multiple locations. but Tesla wants an import-duty cut from 100% to 40% before making a formal entry into the country. a few of the Tesla models have already been approved for the Indian market. so will Elon Musk officially announce an India launch in 2022? it’s still a very close call.
2022 will see the California-Texas icons compete aggressively for user attention. there’ll be fast cars, interactive gaming, quick shopping — all served with a dash of entertainment on connected worlds.