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Meta is facing a reckoning it may not recover from

Hi, I’m Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. 

On the agenda today:

  • Gen Z hates working from home — and they’re actually quitting their remote jobs.
  • Facebook is facing a reckoning as advertisers abandon the platform. 
  • People are waging a campaign of terror on Instagram and Twitter over desirable usernames.
  • Insiders say former Disney CEO Bob Iger was unhappy about the transition of power to Bob Chapek.

Let me know what you think of all our stories at [email protected]

Before we get started: Science and space reporter Morgan McFall-Johnsen is taking us behind the scenes of the first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope.

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Our new cosmic views

The James Webb Space Telescope’s first deep field infrared image, released July 11, 2022.

NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

NASA opened a new window into the cosmos when it released the first full-color images from the James Webb Space Telescope this week, writes Morgan McFall-Johnsen. From a bubbling blue nebula to countless distant spiral galaxies, these sharp images wowed the world and revealed details that were previously invisible.

The images uncovered new stars and galaxies, but astronomers were just as excited by a few squiggly line graphs. The bulk of JWST’s science is spectroscopy, a method of breaking down the light from distant objects. By analyzing where light falls along the infrared rainbow, JWST can show scientists exactly which elements are present in the planet, star, or galaxy emitting that light.

All this is just a hint of the science ahead — the first five days of what could be decades of JWST observations. In the coming years, spectroscopy could reveal how the first galaxies emerged, how black holes evolve, and where there might be life in the universe.

Now, let’s get to this week’s top stories.

Gen Z wants to work together IRL

Illustration of Gen Z enjoying the office

Savanna Durr/Insider

Working from home is like fashion: one size doesn’t fit all, reports Insider’s Aki Ito. Gen Zers coming out of college may see the office as a nicer and more exciting place to work than their apartments, but not all generations feel the same. In the era of remote work, the divide in opinion could present a sticky dilemma for employers.

Why the youngest workers feel so drawn to working in offices.

Meta is in a perfect storm

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

For the first time ever, Facebook’s advertisers are slashing spending and shifting dollars elsewhere. Analysts expect the social-media giant to record zero growth in the second quarter.

And while Google and Twitter are also facing a slowdown, what’s different is that Meta could lose share of client spending — a problem one top industry exec said would be “a first.”

Why Meta is facing reckoning

On social media, people are going to war over usernames

A man with a target on his face made of an @ sign

Deena So’Oteh for Insider

Chris Eberle is used to receiving threatening messages about his Instagram username, @ginger, a so-called “OG handle.” Then the harassment calls began, and his family was targeted. His assailant soon found out where he lived. 

Across Silicon Valley and beyond, tech-industry veterans are being similarly tortured. Why would someone care so much about OG handles?

Inside the obsession with the most sought-after social media handles.

Bob Iger’s succession planning was ‘a notable failure,’ insiders say

Bob Iger in a blue shirt walking with a leafy green background.SUN VALLEY, IDAHO – JULY 05: Bob Iger, Chairperson of Disney, arrives at the Sun Valley Resort for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 05, 2022 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The world’s most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology will converge at the Sun Valley Resort this week for the exclusive conference.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Iger thought he would spend his final year as Disney’s CEO on a global goodbye tour, bidding a personal adieu to the dignitaries and employees who helped create Shanghai Disney and theme parks from Tokyo to Paris. 

Instead, according to several Disney sources and others familiar with Iger’s thinking, the exec spent 2020 and 2021 watching COVID-19 devastate the company he had led for 15 years — and regretting what he has called one of his worst business decisions: the selection of Bob Chapek as his successor.  

Here’s what else insiders told us.

This week’s quote:

“At first, it still felt like that ‘vacation’ feel. But as reality sinks in that you’re actually living there, that wears off. Living there is just such a completely different planet.”

  • Kimberly Lovelace, a 51-year-old who lived in Florida for five months.

More of this week’s top reads:

  • Google is pulling back hiring for the third quarter, company insiders say.
  • After Oracle Advertising laid off staff, some are facing huge losses in stock compensation.
  • We outlined how much accountants and consultants at the “Big Four” firms can make.
  • An Airbnb host with four Idaho rentals breaks down why he’s quitting the platform.
  • Meet Paxos, the startup behind some of Wall Street’s biggest crypto offerings from Bank of America, Mastercard, and PayPal.

Call for nominations: We’re looking for innovative leaders for our 100 People Transforming Business. Here’s how to submit a nominee.

Plus: Keep updated with the latest business news throughout your weekdays by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here tomorrow.

Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Sarah Belle Lin, and Hallam Bullock. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.

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