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In this week’s What’s Appening, we bring news from Meta Connect 2022. The showcase focused on Meta’s new VR hardware, including the impressive (but expensive) Meta Quest Pro. We got insights into the metaverse and a big partnership announcement with Microsoft, as well as questions about the existence of Mark Zuckerberg’s legs (yes, really). Elsewhere, we bring you news from Microsoft, Amazon, TikTok, and Ireland’s mail service. Our Stat of the Week is crunching the numbers with BeReal. And What’s dAppening charts a couple of intriguing moves from Google into web3. 

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Takes 🎬

🌍💡 Meta – Insights into Metaverse Plans at Meta Connect 2022

We all know that Meta has made quite an expensive gamble on the metaverse. And almost a year on from Mark Zuckerberg announcing that Facebook=Meta, we got more of an insight into his company’s metaverse plans at Meta Connect 2022. Most notably, there was the unveiling of Meta Quest Pro, an all-in-one VR hardware set that Meta had worked on under the codename Project Cambria. Well folks, it ain’t cheap, coming in at a buck under $1500. But it does pack a lot of punch, offering “robust mixed reality experiences” for “creation and collaboration”. While some of the hardware and VR showcasing looked impressive – although if you google “Meta fake legs”, you’ll see it’s far from the finished article – there was a sense, like at Connect 2021, that Meta was presenting its hopes for the future rather than the endpoint of the journey. Still, those ambitions remain bold, and we got some intriguing indications of where the company is going with all this, not least through its surprising announcement of a partnership with Microsoft. The two tech behemoths have teamed up to bring Microsoft products Teams, Offices, Windows, and Xbox Cloud Gaming to Meta VR. That collaboration bodes well for Meta’s grand plans, as the two companies were previously seen to have competing visions for the metaverse. Other interesting news from the event saw Meta announce dates for the upcoming VR games based on Among US and Marvel’s Iron Man, which reinforces our belief that ‘content is king’ regardless of which reality you are living in. #MetaConnectsDots Read More here.

📰 💪 The Best of the Rest – Other News:

Microsoft Launches Designer to Take On Canva: Microsoft has announced the launch of a new graphic design app as part of Office subscriptions. Is it a threat to the hugely popular Canva? Details here.

New Digital Stamps for Irish Mail: An Post – that’s the Irish mail service for all you non-Gaelic speakers – has launched its first-ever digital stamp, which is downloadable via the app. Check out that story here.

TikTok Moves Into Amazon’s Patch: TikTok is planning new product fulfillment centers as it looks to build an e-commerce empire. Should Amazon be worried? Get the details here.

Netflix Finalizes Ad-Supported Subscription Tier: We knew it was coming now we have the details. Netflix has announced its ad-supported tier would cost $7 per month. It launches in November. Read more here.

Meta Agrees to Reverse Giphy Acquisition: Hot off the press: Meta has now agreed to reverse its takeover of Giphy after the UK regulator loudly cried “antitrust”. This looks messy. Get the full story from Reuters here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 9% DAUs 

🤳📸 Fewer than 10% of users log in to BeReal daily

It’s the app that’s taking the world by storm, but we saw an interesting statistic in the week that BeReal surpassed 53 million users – only 9% of those users open the app daily. By way of comparison, Sensor Tower found that Instagram (39%), TikTok (29%), Facebook (27%), Snapchat (26%), and Twitter (18%) users were much more likely to check in each day. This caused a bit of a debate around 3Advance HQ, with some calling the comparison unfair – it’s not trying to be those apps. Still, it led us to wonder about the future of this app, and to ponder whether it can evolve into something more substantial than a one-trick pony. #BeRealDaily Read more here.

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🔎💰 Google – Searches for Ethereum Wallets Show Balances with Etherscan

One of the (many) interesting aspects of web3 is the transparency of the movement. A blockchain, after all, is a public ledger, so anyone can see how, when, and where a transaction has been made. That information can include how much crypto-moolah is contained within a wallet using tools like Etherscan. Google, however, has decided to bring this firmly into the world of Web 2 by providing and displaying ETH balances when you perform a search of an Ethereum wallet address. It might seem like a simple step – perhaps even gimmicky – but this kind of integration between the Web 2 and web3 spheres matters. In other more tangible news for Google entering the web3 world, it announced that it would partner with Coinbase Commerce to allow payments in crypto for select cloud services. This comes in the same week that Walmart’s CTO claimed that cryptocurrency would be “right in the middle” of its digital strategy going forward. It’s drip-drip-drip of the tap at the moment for the world’s biggest companies making an entry into web3, but many believe the dam will soon burst. #GoogleLovesCrypto Read more here.

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

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