Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
NPR

The tide appears to be turning for Facebook's Meta, even with falling revenue

This picture taken on January 12, 2023 in Toulouse, southwestern France shows a smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and their parent company Meta.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE
/
AFP via Getty Images
This picture taken on January 12, 2023 in Toulouse, southwestern France shows a smartphone and a computer screen displaying the logos of the Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and their parent company Meta.

The tide could be turning for Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with investors on Wednesday that the company is doing more with less, including cutting projects that aren't performing well and using AI tools to help engineers be more productive.

The company's shares shot up nearly 20% in after hours trading, a major shift from where the company has been over the last few months. Throughout 2022, Meta, which also owns WhatsApp, lost more than $600 billion in market value.

Sponsor Message

The company exceeded Wall Street's expectations on Wednesday by reporting $32.2 billion in revenue for the last three months of 2022, but that was still a 4% drop in revenue from the same time last year. This is the third quarter in a row where the company's revenue has declined.

To make up for those losses, Zuckerberg said his goal was to work on "efficiency" this year.

"We're focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization," he said in a statement.

Already, Meta announced in November it was cutting 11,000 employees, 13% of its workforce, and on Wednesday Zuckerberg said it will continue "flattening" its organization structure and "removing some layers of middle management." It will also consolidate several office buildings and cancel multiple data center projects.

Still, the company has not cut spending everywhere.

Sponsor Message

On the call, it announced a plan to buy back $40 billion of its stock.

And while cutting real-world capital costs, it is still investing heavily in the Metaverse — a futuristic alternate-reality world. The company increased spending by 22% from a year ago, according to its earnings report, and Zuckerberg said it was focusing on the Metaverse.

"Our priorities haven't changed since last year," Zuckerberg said on the call. "We are setting the standard for the industry with our meta reality system."

Facebook's earnings come the day before Alphabet and Amazon's reports. Both companies have also laid off thousands of employees over the past few weeks and have seen plummeting share prices.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sponsor Message

NPR
Dara Kerr
Dara Kerr is a tech reporter for NPR. She examines the choices tech companies make and the influence they wield over our lives and society.