“Look, I understand that a lot of people might not agree with this investment, but from what I can see, I think this is going to be a really important thing,” he said. “People will look back in ten years and talk about the importance of the work being done here.”
“People will look back in ten years and talk about the importance of the work being done here”
The problem is that a decade is long from now. And as Zuckerberg experienced during today’s win call, he is quickly losing loyal supporters. “I think one kind of summary of how investors are feeling right now is that there are just too many experimental bets versus proven bets,” a Wall Street analyst said during the call.
“We expect Reality Labs’ operating losses to increase significantly year over year in 2023,” Meta said in its press release, just days after a major shareholder publicly pressured the company to control its spending.
Meta’s stock fell as much as 20 percent today after it reported 4 percent revenue growth. The results show that Apple’s ad tracking prompt has cost it more than $10 billion, ad spend on its platform continues to weaken, and its stock is currently trading at a price not seen since late 2015.
Zuckerberg tried to give investors reasons to be bullish today. He said there are more daily users on Facebook than ever before. Instagram and WhatsApp both have over 2 billion users, and the latter has just started a significant marketing push in the US aimed directly at iMessage. Even the company’s TikTok competitor, Reels, is starting to grow dramatically, with Zuckerberg saying, “we believe we’re gaining time spent on competitors like TikTok.”
That may be true, and this could be another painful moment of transition, akin to Facebook’s shift from desktop to mobile or the introduction of stories as Zuckerberg suggested. But for now, he is experiencing a crisis of confidence.