Facebook, now rebranded as Meta Platforms, is known (and probably hated) by many. Despite having over 2.8 billion daily active users across its family of platforms – Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook – Meta has one of the worst public perceptions among the large tech stocks. From the Cambridge Analytica data scandal to its role in Myanmar’s genocide, Mark Zuckerberg has been seen testifying before Congress on numerous occasions.
Despite being riddled in controversy, however, Facebook as a business has performed incredibly well over time. Its revenue has doubled since 2018 to $117.4 billion, and its earnings have grown at a rapid rate (especially given Facebook’s large size) to $39.7 billion. During the COVID-19 outbreak, with many people locked indoors, many have become much more active on social media to connect with their friends and relatives. Since the start of the pandemic, Facebook’s platforms have gained over 550 million users. Its stock price had increased over 3-fold, and Zuckerberg has added tens of billions of dollars to his net worth. Things were going very well.
In October 2021, Facebook released a huge change to its business – it would now use a substantial portion of the cash generated by the social media business to develop “metaverse.”