At Facebook, It’s Always Been All About Growth

Facebook has nearly three billion users, which means that when it makes a change to its business, it affects nearly half the planet. Facebook’s ambitions have often manifested in chaotic, unpredictable ways and had profound societal impacts for years after they’ve been implemented. So when the company decided to rebrand to Meta and funnel billions of dollars toward building its own virtual alternate reality, it’s a move that’s bound to come with some big consequences—if nothing else, for Meta itself.


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This week on Gadget Lab, we’re joined by Shirin Ghaffary from Recode and Alex Heath from The Verge. The new season of their podcast, Land of the Giants, is all about Facebook’s transformation into Meta and what it means for the billions of people on Facebook, and in the world at large.

Show Notes

Listen to the Land of the Giants podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Read Alex’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook rebranding as Meta.


Shirin recommends the book Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Alex recommends the show The Bear on Hulu. Lauren recommends Taylor Blake’s TikTok channel and the viral videos of her emu, Emmanuel. Mike recommends the book Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand, by John Markoff.

Shirin Ghaffary can be found on Twitter @shiringhaffary. Alex Heath is @alexeheath. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

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