The parent company of Facebook is dealing with increased competition from TikTok, a general slowdown in online advertising spending, and challenges posed by an update to Apple’s iOS privacy settings. When everything is taken into account, it is anticipated that Meta will report another consecutive quarter of falling sales.
To compete with TikTok, Meta is pouring resources into its Reels short-video service. However, the product is still in its infancy in terms of generating revenue, and it isn’t nearly as profitable as Facebook’s core features, such as Stories and the newsfeed.
Meta has announced new advertisements for Reels in an effort to increase the platform’s allure to advertisers by providing businesses with more ways to promote their wares via short videos. More businesses can now advertise on Messenger and Instagram, expanding the company’s ad inventory and possibly boosting sales.
Still, the stock has fallen roughly sixty percent for the year, which is more than twice as much as the decrease in the Nasdaq, and experts are pessimistic about the prospects for the company through the rest of the year and into 2023.
As a result of the Apple update and the “Reels transition,” Bank of America recently demoted Meta from buy to neutral, stating in a research note, “we expect advertising revenue cuts in beginning 2023 to consider on sentiment and drive additional uncertainty.” Below Wall Street’s 9% growth forecast for 2023, the company has stated that it expects 4% growth and that there is “some downside risk to our projections in a recession.”
In the meantime, Meta is pouring billions of dollars per year into the development of the metaverse, which is a digital universe that has not yet been created but that users of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets will be able to access.
This past week, a shareholder in Meta named Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital sent the company an open letter in which he criticized the company for employing an excessive number of people and spending an excessive amount of money on the metaverse.
The consulting firm suggests that Meta cut its workforce by twenty percent and limit its annual investment in the metaverse to no more than five billion dollars. In 2021, the Reality Labs division of Meta experienced a loss of more than $10 billion.
In the letter, Gerstner stated that the company needed to “rebuild confidence with investors, employees, and the tech world in order to attract, empower, and retain the best people around the world.” In a nutshell, “Meta needs to get in shape and concentrate more.”
Alphabet reported results on Tuesday that were weaker than expected and stated that YouTube advertising revenue decreased by 2% from the same period a year earlier to $6.97 billion during the third quarter of 2018. The chief financial officer of Alphabet, Ruth Porat, stated that the decline “primarily reflects further drawdowns in advertiser spends.”
In addition, investors will keep a close eye on Meta’s user numbers, which have remained relatively constant. The number of users in the United States and Canada, the company’s most lucrative region, is the source of the most significant cause for concern.
Meta recorded 197 million daily users in those two North American countries during the second half of 2022, which is a decrease from the 198 million users it counted during the same period in 2020.
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