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In the not-so-distant past, Facebook (now Meta) was among the biggest Silicon Valley giants in existence. Two years ago, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the third-richest person on Earth, behind only Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
But, all that money is tied up in more than 350 million Facebook stock shares, which has been on the downhill slope since Zuck announced the Meta rebranding and its shift into the metaverse. Back in February, the company also had an earnings report that noted no growth in monthly Facebook users, which caused the company’s stock price to tumble 57% since the start of the year. So far this year, Zuck’s lost about US$71 billion – more than half of his pile of money.
And if you’re thinking that every other company in Silicon Valley has had it hard too, you’re right, and you’re wrong. Of the FAANG group (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google), there have been serious losses. Amazon is down about 26%, and Google is down about 29%. The only one doing worse than Facebook is Netflix, and Meta is even catching up there.
Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? Probably not. But it might well be the end of Zuckerberg’s massive fortune, and Meta’s bet on the metaverse might not be as solid as people once thought.
Meta “has to get these users back from TikTok,” said Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Co. She also said it has to deal with “excessive regulatory scrutiny and intervention.”
Bloomberg tech analyst Mandeep Singh said that if it hadn’t gone into the VR space, Meta “would be more in line with where Alphabet is,” in terms of losses this year.