It’s a first. Shaken by China’s Tiktok and Apple’s changing privacy rules, Facebook lost users for the first time in its history, 18 years after its launch, and Meta’s pessimistic forecast for the current quarter disappointed investors. The least valued GAFAM company (MAGMA since its name change) recorded a drop of 1 million daily users on its four platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) to 2.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021. The number of these users is stagnating in America and Europe and declining in Latin America, Africa and other territories.
These declines have shaken the balance sheet of the multinational which achieved a net profit of 10.3 billion during the fourth quarter of last year, down 8%. The group’s turnover, estimated at 33.67 billion dollars, is in line with its forecasts, but for the current quarter, it is counting “only” on 27 to 29 billion in revenue, a prospect which marks a real break compared to previous years. As a result of these figures and forecasts, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram saw its title on Wall Street drop by 23% during electronic trading after the closing of the New York Stock Exchange.
This drop in results coincides with the first presentations made by Mark Zuckerberg since the change of name of his company to META last October. For the moment, the virtual world, the metaverse (contraction of “meta” and “universe”), does not yet correspond to the reality of the figures. Facebook Reality Labs, the virtual reality division at the heart of this shift, lost more than $3 billion over three months and $10 billion in 2021. If Meta’s revenue, at $33.67 billion, is in line with its forecasts, the company is only counting on 27 to 29 billion in revenue for the current one.