The parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has encountered unprecedented economic headwinds, seeing its year-over-year revenue fall for the first time ever in the second quarter of this year.
(Despite the slight yearly decline, Meta remains a giant moneymaker. In the second quarter, the company reported “only” $28.8 billion in revenue.)
The downturn means teams at Meta should expect reduced budgets and lower headcounts across the board.
“I had hoped the economy would have more clearly stabilized by now, but from what we’re seeing it doesn’t yet seem like it has, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively,” Zuckerberg told staff during a Q&A on Thursday, according to remarks obtained by Bloomberg.
“For the first 18 years of the company, we basically grew quickly basically every year, and then more recently our revenue has been flat to slightly down for the first time.”
Declining digital ad revenue and competition from upstarts like TikTok are cutting into Meta’s bottom line at the same time Zuckerberg is trying to shift focus to the metaverse ― itself a costly endeavor with no clear path to profitability.
Meta stock fell around 4% in trading Thursday. The stock is down nearly 60% from its 52-week high.