24th February 2024 11:41 am
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Meta’s latest financial report should really worry X

  • Q3 2023 results highlight a string of wins for Meta which has increased its net income to $11 billion.
  • The firm reports that these days over three billion people use a Meta app everyday.
  • With the exception of Reality Labs, Meta keeps growing and the likes of X’s Elon Musk should be worried about the impact that growth has.

Earlier this week Meta reported that it had grown revenue by 23 percent to $34 billion in the last quarter. In fact, there was little for Meta shareholders to complain about especially looking back at the money-sink that is the Metaverse.

The firm reported that daily active people was up seven percent, net income was up 164 percent compared to Q3 2022 and cost and expenses were down 7 percent to $20 billion. These gains have no doubt been helped along by the fact that Meta has fired a staggering amount of staffers since Q3 2022.

This was noted by chief financial officer at Meta, Susan Li who reported that in this most recent quarter, Meta’s headcount was down seven percent compared to the previous quarter.

Those who remain however are seemingly appreciated greatly by management.

“We had a good quarter for our community and business,” Meta founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders. “I’m proud of the work our teams have done to advance AI and mixed reality with the launch of Quest 3, Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, and our AI studio.”

Reading through the financial results it’s hard not to find a win for Meta. Reels has driven a 40 percent increase on the time spent on Instagram, Threads has 100 million monthly active users, and – as Zuck mentioned – the firm’s hardware business is flourishing as well.

Post by @zuck
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Meanwhile, Elon Musk appears to think that he can do what Meta has spent the better part of two decades doing in less time. Comparing Meta to X formerly Twitter is incredibly tough because we only have morsels of information that Musk and his team choose to share with us. That in itself isn’t the most trustworthy source because as we’ve said before, no CEO, founder, or owner is going to declare to the world that things aren’t going well unless they absolutely have to.

For every solution Musk promises, Meta has a well-established product that can match or outmatch X. For payments there is MetaPay, something X doesn’t have at all, for calls and texts there is WhatsApp, for social interactions there is Facebook, Instagram and Threads. Then there’s also a steady stream of hardware coming out of the firm as well. Perhaps X can claim that it pays creators but we’ve seen payouts dropping substantially since the program was launched in June.

Then, when looking at user numbers, Meta has the advantage of being a stalwart in the social media market something Twitter always struggled with. As many as three billion people are using a Meta product every day. That is an incredible amount of users and Twitter was never coming close to that even before the divisive billionaire took over.

Over the last year, Musk has also pushed users away from Twitter/X. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Meta wouldn’t be celebrating 100 million users in five months if things at Twitter were more stable. It’s telling that Meta only launched the platform when public sentiment toward Twitter was at an all-time low, the firm could’ve launched a Twitter-like at any point, and the fact that it didn’t until this year should speak volumes.

While Musk posts to an echo chamber of fans who believe he can do no wrong, Meta is building an incredibly successful business that folks clearly want to use. Even the focus on the Metaverse has shifted to hardware with plans to put the virtual world where it always needed to be, mobile tech.

“We also started testing Horizon for phones, tablets, and PCs, which is going to be an important, key part of how to build the metaverse across devices. And we’ve had a couple of important milestones with avatars as well — both for our expressive avatars and the latest codec avatars that I showed off recently,” Zuckerberg said.

Of course, the Reality Labs section of Meta is still losing money but that has always been something of a gamble in our humble opinions. The idea of folks strapping VR headsets to their face for eight hours a day has always felt like Silicon Valley tech bro nonsense.

What isn’t nonsense is $11 billion in net income, and that’s tough not to be impressed by.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Beats include cybersecurity, business, infrastructure, telecommunications, PC gaming and internet culture.

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