Zuckerberg has burned $0.5 trillion since changing Facebook to Meta, but another existential threat awaits the social giant
Facebook is one of the most hated companies in the world. Its employees hate the company’s practices, the government loves to sue it, people love to criticize it, and its rivals love to attack it. Late last year, Facebook won the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ award in the Yahoo! Finance survey.
Respondents gave mixed reasons for the hate. One group complained about Facebook having too much censorship and obstruction of free speech, while the other blames Facebook for insufficient policing of undesirable content. Now, Facebook is famous for privacy violations and tracking users without their consent. Just this week, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, agreed to pay $90 million to settle a privacy lawsuit for tracking users’ activity even after they logged out of its website.
Even with 2.89 billion active users, millions of people have Facebook accounts but rarely log onto the platform. Millennials, GenZ, and teens are leaving the social network in droves to less toxic like rival TikTok. Last year, TikTok.com surpassed Google to become the most visited website in the world in 2021, ending Google’s 23 years dominance.
As part of the company’s effort to reinvent itself and change its tarnished image, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in October 2021 that the company is changing its corporate name from Facebook to Meta to reflect its focus on the metaverse, a term originally coined by Neal Stephenson in the dystopian novel “Snow Crash” three decades ago.
Then in its first quarterly earnings call since the company’s rebranding, Meta revealed it lost 500,000 daily users. That was not all. The company also reported a declined profit. Zuckerberg blamed the user decline on TikTok, the short video platform we discussed above.
Zuckerberg said the Facebook users’ decline was partly due to the boom in popularity of the competitor platform TikTok. The blame game didn’t stop there. Zuckerberg also blamed the woes on a combination of other factors, including privacy changes to Apple’s iOS and economic challenges. The company said the lower-than-expected growth on inflation as well as supply chain issues are impacting advertisers’ budgets.
Immediately after the news, Meta plunged by 20%, and $220 billion was wiped off its market value. You’d have thought that after a $240 billion one-day drop in Meta’s market value, the stock would have bounced back a bit. But that’s not the case. Meta has lost more than $30 per stock from its value since we last covered the company on February 3.
The carnage didn’t stop there. Zuckerberg also lost more than $29 billion of his net worth. The $220 billion loss came at a time of the company’s unexpectedly heavy spending on its Metaverse project.
In October of last year, Meta said it plans to invest $10 billion on its metaverse to reflect the company’s new vision. At the time, Meta said it plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build a “metaverse.” Zuckerberg added that metaverse is a major investment for the company and plays a vital role for the company going forward.
Meanwhile, Facebook haters see this as good news. In a post, one Twitter user by the name of Poso tweeted, “Finally some good news.” Poso is not the only Facebook hater. Other prominent people also called for Facebook accounts to be deleted. In 2020, Musk asked his followers to delete their Facebook accounts. Responding to a tweet from Sacha Baron Cohen about the need to regulate Facebook, Musk responded with the hashtag: “#DeleteFacebook It’s lame.”
We don’t let 1 person control the water for 2.5 billion people.
We don’t let 1 person control electricity for 2.5 billion people.
Why do we let 1 man control the information seen by 2.5 billion people?
Facebook needs to be regulated by governments, not ruled by an emperor! pic.twitter.com/o4hNRFNpgt
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) February 5, 2020
The bad news didn’t end there for Facebook. Today in a piece for the New York Magazin, Kevin Dugan writes on the social-media giant’s self-immolation.
Very good news! The start of the end of the nothing empire?!?
— Fabio Vincent (@FabioVincent14) February 18, 2022
Titled, “Zuckerberg Has Burned $500 Billion Turning Facebook to Meta,” Taking a jab at Zuckerberg, Dugan opined that we may be witnessing the early days of the fall of Zuckustus, a jab at Zukerberg and a reference to Former Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. Dugan writes:
“We may be witnessing the early days of the fall of Zuckustus. Facebook’s once unbeatable ad-tracking system — the engine that made it a more than $1 trillion company — has effectively been neutralized by the likes of Apple, which allows users to block the company’s trackers. (Google is set to start phasing in similar protections to its users over the next two years.)”
Dugan continued, “Facebook’s user base has started to shrink after revelations by whistleblowers and leaks that showed how harmful social media could be to teen users, who are flocking to less toxic competitors like TikTok anyway.”
Dugan is not alone. Mutahar, a YouTuber, also shared his views and talked about what every Facebook hater has been wishing for a long time–“Facebook Is Finally Dying.” For the first time in about a decade, Meta has now fallen out of the top ten largest companies in the world by market capitalization.
While Facebook may be blaming Apple, TikTok, and Google for its demise, Barrons’ Jack Denton said “Meta has another existential threat on the horizon.” Besides, the metaverse that Facebook is betting its future on is dead on arrival. As we also reported early this month, Microsoft already killed Mark Zuckberg’s metaverse before launch.
Is this really the beginning of the end of Facebook? No one knows for sure. But we do know that the name “Meta” in Hebrew means “is dead.”
Enjoy the videos!
Below is a video of how Microsoft is about to kill Zuckerberg’s metaverse.