Meta shares plummet as Facebook loses daily users for first time
The number of daily active Facebook users fell by 1 million to 1.929 billion, with the company blaming competition from rivals like TikTok and YouTube.
Meta saw around $200 billion wiped off its value following the announcement, which was the first time the company had lost users in a quarter in its 18-year history.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the firm’s sales growth had been hurt as audiences, especially younger users, had left for rivals, citing the boom in TikTok as having a particular impact.
Despite this, revenue at Meta – which Facebook rebranded to last year – rose to $33.67bn in the period.
“The teams are executing quite well and the product is growing very quickly,” Zuckerberg said. “The thing that is somewhat unique here is that TikTok is so big a competitor already and also continues to grow at quite a fast rate.”
It comes off the back of further bad news this week as Meta also opted to axe its efforts to enter the cryptocurrency space. Meta – then Facebook – first unveiled plans for a digital currency, Libra, in 2019. But this week it agreed a deal to sell Libra – which was renamed as Diem – to Silvergate Capital.
The rebrand to Meta marked a pivot in Facebook’s strategy to focus on the metaverse – a space Zuckerberg hopes to own by leveraging the company’s acquisition of headset manufacturer Oculus in 2014.
In its financial posting, Meta also unveiled significant losses for its new Reality Labs segment, as it continues to invest in this area. Reality Labs, which is spearheading its push into the metaverse, disclosed more than $3bn in operating losses during the period.
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