At the same time, the company has invested more than 10 billion US dollars in big boss Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious plan to turn Meta Platforms into a virtual reality company, in fact, a business. based on the metaverse”.
Shares of Meta fell 26.4% to $237.76 at the Nasdaq close Thursday, slashing the company’s market value by more than $230 billion. This is the largest loss in value recorded for a single company in a single day.
“Meta is sacrificing its core business model with its fascination with metaverses,” said Rachel Jones, an analyst with research firm GlobalData. A big bet on the metaverse is not a bad thing, the technology should be huge and provide a wealth of business opportunities, but it will take at least another decade to really take off. »
While tech companies are used to making big bets on future ideas that sometimes become a reality, and generate huge payouts when they do, Wall Street doesn’t like uncertainty. Not to mention that Meta must also deal with managing the toxic effects of its current platform in the real world.
Mike Proulx, director of research at Forrester Research, notes that there is a “continuing concern that current challenges at Facebook may track the Meta into the metaverse.” “The company has to work to convince consumers that the Meta idea of the metaverse is a good one.”
Since Meta adopted its new name last fall, the company has shifted resources and hired engineers, including from competitors like Apple and Google, who can help Mark Zuckerberg realize his vision.
You have to imagine the metaverse as a kind of internet that will come alive, or at least be recreated in 3D. Mark Zuckerberg describes it as a “virtual environment” in which one can immerse themselves rather than just stare at a screen. In theory, the metaverse would be a place where people could meet, work and play using virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, phone apps, or other devices.
It might sound like science fiction, but then again, not so long ago, a few people imagined that computers could fit in a pants pocket, cars would drive themselves, and microwaves would talk to their owners. Technology advances whether we like it or not, to quote a motivational poster at corporate headquarters, “Fortune smiles on boldness.”
Despite the backlash Facebook is facing on issues such as misinformation, privacy violations, teen mental health risk and hate speech, Mark Zuckerberg still believes that bold bets to steer the company in new directions have generally paid off.
Many investment priorities
In a conference call on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s investments this year will focus on Reals, a short video-sharing service for Instagram reminiscent of TikTok, as well as messaging, advertising, commerce, privacy, artificial intelligence and “of course, Metaverse.”
“Achieving meaningful progress in these seven areas will improve the services we provide today and help fuel a social, intuitive and enjoyable pathway,” he said. But he acknowledged that “this fully realized vision is still a long way off, and while the direction is clear, the path ahead is not fully defined.”
But while the indirect optimism on Wall Street appears to be much less than that of Zuckerberg, Meta’s rivals are ramping up their own projects. These companies include Apple, Google and Microsoft, which recently acquired video game company Activision Blizzard in hopes of accelerating its metaverse ambitions.
But it’s not just the big companies. According to app analytics firm SensorTower, 86 “metaverse” apps have been added to the title or description since November. So far, 552 mobile apps have included the term “metaverse” in their title or description.
Stifel analyst Mark Kelley sought to placate investors, noting that Mark Zuckerberg has identified not one, but seven, investment priorities for the company this year. Il a dit qu’il ne pense pas que l’objectif initial de Meta d’atteindre 1 milliard d’utilisateurs du métavers soit exagéré et surtout, il pense que seulement 40% de ceux-ci seraient des joueurs at trassed sonnet, signal On a larger scale.