These are turbulent times for Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. His image problems, increased exponentially by the complaints of the former employee Frances Haugen in October, are not left behind, even after the name change and the focus on the metaverse, his new dogma of faith. To this was added a catastrophic trading day, the worst in its history, with a collapse of more than 26% in its titles -half a day- after presenting its quarterly results, leaving some 235,000 million dollars of value (205,000 million euros, about). The figure is higher than the combined economies of Greece and Jordan.
The reason: the disappointing forecasts for the first quarter of 2022, in addition to falling short in profits and the number of users in the last quarter of 2021 compared to what Wall Street analysts expected. Facebook indicated that it expects to invoice between 27,000 and 29,000 million dollars, below the 30,150 million that the experts had contemplated.
The company attributes this to a combination of factors such as inflation, the pandemic, or changes to the iOS ecosystem by Apple. Only for this last concept, David Wehner, financial adviser of the technological giant, estimated that they will stop entering around 10,000 million dollars. Apple modified the software in April so users could choose whether or not to be geolocated by apps, a change that limits the ability of companies like Facebook to obtain data and generate more targeted advertising.
Even so, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the social network, was excited about “the progress made last year in several important growth areas such as Reels (short videos), commerce and virtual reality”, to grow and invest in all these areas “while we work to build the metaverse”, the commitment to the future through a virtual world with which they hope to generate a new field of financial opportunities.
The name change is due to that metaverse, announced by Zuckerberg last October and after the accusations of a former employee about the company’s unethical practices to keep its users more hooked on their networks. Haugen, a 37-year-old Harvard graduate, says “Facebook products harm children, fuel division and weaken our democracy.”
The controversy has not prevented the number of users from growing by 5% in the last 12 months. The daily average on Facebook is 1,930 million people around the world, despite the increasingly widespread belief that it is a platform in decline, oriented towards a larger audience and with little appeal for new generations.
However, spending on advertising has increased by around 60% in two years. In 2021, the investment was 114,934 million dollars compared to 84,169 million in 2020 and 69,655 million in 2019.