Meta's stock fell 23% Thursday after the third quarter's results were released. The data showed the Reality Labs division (which encompasses its VR, XR, and Metaverse) posted US$ 3.7 billion in operating losses.
The undertaking has already lost over US$ 9 billion this year, in addition to 2021's US$ 10 billion in the red.
At this point, this performance has been labeled an outright failure for shareholders burdened with large expenses, regarding which Meta argued the increased scrutiny launched in all areas of operating expenses would take time to have a real impact, prompting fears of downsizing and layoffs.
Shareholders were repeatedly assured that Meta was confident their investments would eventually pay off, though perhaps not for a while.
The Metaverse is a virtual world created by Meta to which, in Mark Zuckerberg's view, everyone would want to connect through a series of devices that would allow them to make believe they were immersed in that parallel reality to interact with other people (avatars), things, brands, watch movies, etc.
In this scenario, Zuckerberg's wealth has been cut down by over US$ 100 billion this year, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index. Zuckerberg now has only US$ $36 billion, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has US$ 211 billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was worth $139 billion, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was worth $110 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Meta faces increasing competition from other social media platforms like TikTok, as well as skepticism about its future.