Meta’s growth stopped dead between Q3 and Q4 2021

Late last year Facebook became Meta. Well, Facebook the holding company that owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook became Meta.

The firm has released its first financial results report under Meta and things aren’t looking good, especially for Facebook. According to the third quarter financial results (pdf) there were 1.93 billion daily active users on Facebook in September 2021 and there were 2.91 billion monthly active users at the time of that report.

Fast forward to the Q4 and full year report for 2021 (pdf) and things haven’t grown, at all. Monthly active users amounted to 2.91 billion and daily active users stayed at 1.93 billion.

Even if one looks at Meta’s family of apps which include Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services all lumped into one category, growth is almost non-existent.

There is likely a good reason for this lack of growth though – Facebook can’t find anymore new users. It’s important to remember that Facebook has been around since 2004 and there’s a good chance that those who were going to join Facebook have already done so.

Of course, there are some three billion people that have no internet access and that’s an untapped market for Meta and other firms. The trouble is that bringing these people online requires significant investment and we don’t see Silicon Valley bigwigs chomping at the bit to address connectivity unless there’s a big payday for them at the end of the road.

And therein we can find Zuckerberg’s big flaw with his vision for a metaverse.

While the founder envisions a future where everything can be accomplished in a virtual space, that’s only really viable if everybody on the planet is part of Meta’s metaverse.

Make no mistake, having 14 percent of the world’s population on your platform is a monumental achievement but Meta has to do something incredible to make up the difference.


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