Meta Has Already Blown $10 Billion on its Metaverse Dreams

The company’s earnings report could be the start of a slow death

Stephen Moore
OneZero
Published in
3 min readFeb 3, 2022

--

Photo: GettyImages

In the 11 minutes that passed after the markets closed on Feb 2, the value of Facebook’s parent company, Meta, had plunged over 20%. If the decline holds for the opening of trading on Feb 3, the company stands to lose $200 billion in value overnight. (Update: It did hold, and the stock plummeted 26% in Thursday trading — its worst single-day percentage decline on record.)

The titanic losses were triggered by the company’s earnings report, which made for bad reading and the worst day of Zuckerberg’s tenure as Meta CEO.

Growth has stagnated in the US and Canada. And for the first time in the company’s 18-year history, worldwide daily users decreased. Reality Labs, which focuses on the Oculus and Zuckerberg’s Metaverse dreams — and was hoped to be a serious money-spinner — made a $10 billion loss on revenues of $2.2 billion. Zuckerberg noted that he expects these losses to “increase meaningfully” as he continues to build the vision only he wants in 2022. Advertising revenue is down, partly down to Apple’s move to stop advertisers tracking users around the internet, the tool that made Facebook’s predatory advertising system so effective. In a final twist of the knife, Meta’s CEO admitted that TikTok and YouTube were eating its lunch and advertising income as younger generations and brands continue to engage with short-form videos. In a moment of defiance (read: denial), Zuckerberg reiterated his belief that Facebook’s copycat feature Reels could turn it around.

All of this comes on top of the recent announcement that Meta’s crypto coin project, once called Libra, then called Diem, was being shut down less than three years after its birth — a textbook example of “failing fast” — due to regulatory pushback, and the fact no one gave a shit about it.

It’s worth noting that Meta still made a staggering $40 billion of profit in 2021, primarily due to advertising. However, the losses and bleaker projections for the year to come still caused the company to…

--

--

Stephen Moore
OneZero

Writer, editor, part-time furniture maker. Head here for my tech and biz newsletter, Trend Mill: https://www.trend-mill.com