The Great ResetOne year in, Meta's much discussed rebranding and focus on the metaverse has not so far worked out in the company’s favor and as of the beginning of November 2022, Meta disclosed that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, were going to see a significant wave of layoffs, affecting around 11,000 employees (13 percent of the firm’s workforce). During this period of downturn, Meta's market capitalization had fallen to 250 billion U.S. dollars, a far cry from its peak of 1.07 trillion U.S. dollars in August 2021. At that point, Meta was one of the very few businesses to ever exceed a trillion-dollar market capitalization. Zuckerberg cited macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, lower ad revenues, and post-COVID normalization of revenue trends.
Company financialsMeta’s annual revenue was 117.9 billion U.S. dollars for the fiscal year 2021, up from 85.9 billion in 2020. The vast majority of Meta’s revenue is generated by its Family of Apps (FoA), accounting for 115.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, the remaining 2.27 billion U.S. dollars generated by Reality Labs. Overall, over 97 percent of Meta’s revenue is produced through advertising.
Meta’s Family of Apps and Reality LabsPopularity and user numbers of Meta’s social media platforms continue to grow worldwide, with usage being indubitably boosted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 2021, Facebook had roughly 2.9 billion monthly active users worldwide making it the most used social network in the world. Although Google’s video sharing service YouTube ranked second, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger all belonged to the top five most popular social networks worldwide. Additionally, Meta’s photo sharing app Instagram reached two billion monthly active users worldwide in 2021, just over 11 years after being launched.
Another product owned by Meta is virtual reality headset Oculus. The mobile app compatible with the VR headsets experienced a huge increase in downloads last year, with a substantial surge over Christmas 2021.