back to article Grab some tissues: Meta's share price tanks after Facebook emits latest figures

After revealing it had blown $10bn on the metaverse this year, amid standstill Facebook growth, Meta's stock was hammered after the market close – with the price slumping from around $323 to $249. The US goliath on Wednesday reported its Q4 and full year 2021 results, revealing it banked revenues of $33.7bn for Q4 and $118bn …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Deflection

    Apple's changes to iOS privacy also hurt – and Meta execs once again used the argument that making it harder to advertise on Facebook harms small businesses.

    Wow, just wow. Privacy is hurting "small businesses". They are saying: It is not about our bottom line, no sir, it is not. It is the "small businesses" we are defending. Privacy is a hurdle we must overcome and we will do better as time passes to improve conditions for "small businesses".

    I'm sorry, that simply does not compute.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Deflection

      Well clearly there are bigger companies then Meta, you know Google, Amazon, etc. so therefore Meta must be a small business, and this is hurting them. So you know Privacy is hurting "small businesses!" Just for a very specific definition of Small Business...

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Deflection

        I closed my account a couple of weeks ago. I like to think I made a small contribution to this decline!

        1. Beeblebrox

          Re: Deflection

          "I closed my account a couple of weeks ago"

          I think you count towards next quarter's results - sorry.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Re: Deflection

            Even better! Another 22%

          2. LRanger

            Re: Deflection

            Can you 'close' your account now? It used to be request deletion if I can remember from several years ago.

      2. b0llchit Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Deflection

        I stand corrected. How could I have missed this purely narcissistic view of one's own company.

        (again a perfect fit in the "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection" descriptions)

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

          Re: Deflection

          That kind of double-speak is all over silicone valley to be fair. This morning I saw a company describing themselves as "an established start-up". My brain actively shut down at that point as it was trying to equate the two polar opposite terms "start-up" and "established" and clearly felt I needed to be protected from this feedback loop.

          1. b0llchit Silver badge

            Re: Deflection

            I thought you would be able to handle paradoxes. At least, your (fantastic) screen-username is an expression of handling the unexpected without complete breakdown. ;-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Deflection

            "That kind of double-speak is all over silicone valley to be fair."

            Freudian slip or an apt description of the overinflated fun bags located there?

            1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

              Re: Deflection

              Freudian slip or an apt description of the overinflated fun bags located there?

              Just an indication that I think the place is run by a bunch of tits, really

            2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Deflection

              Surely a Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean a mother, er, another...

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Deflection

      Have you been living under a rock? That is FB's go to excuse for why something that FB disagrees with should not be done.

      GDPR... hurts small businesses

      Apple restrictions.... hurts small businesses

      Government regulation... hurts small businesses

      etc

      Presumably also FB paying accurate taxes in all the juristictions where they operate... hurts small businesses

  2. werdsmith Silver badge

    Good news is the start of the inevitable decline, for the sake of humanity I hope it accelerates.

    Already in US and Europe Faecebook had falling activity, because of its embarrassing stigma, many folk who do still use it are ashamed to admit it.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Boffin

      Just think - at some point in the future, the number of Facebook accounts where the user is dead will outnumber those of living people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think it's more a dead vs brain dead thing anyway ..

      2. Alumoi Silver badge

        And will equal the number of bots.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My name is John and I'm an alcoholic facebook user. I've been clean for two weeks now but it's so hard not to login and share my mundane life with everyone and look at cat videos.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Excuse me, the cat video thing is YouTube. But do carry on.

        :)

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Thank $DEITY for that - I momentarily thought that I'd inadvertently been using FB!

  3. Tromos

    Metaverse

    Wasting billions, just so a headcase can play with a headset.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Metaverse

      Billions you don't have to pay taxes on.... they took a chapter from "Bezos' Encyclopedia of Tax Avoidance". Set up some expensive (on paper) researches where you can funnel a good part of your profits, and make them disappear.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Metaverse

        On the other hand, unless they are committing tax fraud, that money is going into the economy in wages, buildings and equipment costs etc. and the people that money goes to are probably paying taxes. The problem is that it's not necessarily going to the correct tax jurisdictions.

        PS, no, I'm not defending facebook/meta/whatever :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahhhhh

    Bless!

  5. herman Silver badge
    FAIL

    Clickbait controversies

    It is amusing how the Trump controversies fueled the likes of Facebook and Twitter. With him sidelined by Biden, the whole clickbait maelstrom collapsed.

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

      Re: Clickbait controversies

      Till the next one

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Losses are a corporate bonus. You can short sell the shares before the big reveal and it also means you pay no or less tax. Not that they pay tax anyway.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Stop

      You dont really understand how Shares work, do you? Companies dont profit from shares. In fact, apart from when they are actually releasing the shares (IPO, or straight up share sale), then they have no actual direct "contact" to the shares in the company. If Shares go up or down, that doesnt actually impact the company. It affects the shareholders (Investors) in the company, and they might let the Board hear a thing or two if the Shares go down, but the company itself is relatively unaffected (things like borrowing might be affected, but not that much usually).

      Shorting can only be done by investors. Yes some Exec's and board members might get shares, but any body in those sorts of positions is legally prevented from trading in their shares based on information that might affect the share prices. This is very strongly regulated, and not something that anyone (apart from the terminally greedy) mess with.

      As such, your assertion above is complete bollocks. Well, apart from the part about them not paying taxes. That's a given...

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
        Devil

        I read that as a veiled suggestion that corporate executives were using the information for insider trading. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to countenance a suggestion that rich people would resort to illegal methods to get richer.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        To be fair, he has a point: lots of executive compensation is in the form of deferred share options. This can indeed lead to incentives regarding lower or higher share prices: you might want lower prices when you can buy them and higher ones, once they've vested. And there's no doubt that some earnings reports do correlate reasonably with such incentives. But it's a difficult trick to pull off frequently. Instead earnings calls like this tend to like to bury the bad news.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Generally share options have a vesting date on or after which they can be exercised at the price they were issued at. There is no (that I can see) benefit for the share price to fall. The higher the share price, the bigger the difference (and thus the money you receive) between current market price and your vesting price.

          Given the vesting price (arbitrary and not necessarily anything to do with current, at the time, market price) is set when options are issued so the only way I could see lower market price possibly being beneficial if there was options about to be issued which might be loosely tied to current market price, in which case driving price down would make those options vesting price lower, and thus increase your profit (assuming market price recovers).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What about share buy-backs?

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Holmes

      SEC would like a word with you about insider trading...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        SEC doesn't really have a word with anyone.

        1. Tomato42

          they do, but essentially only with nobodies, as nobodies don't have the money to outspend them on lawyers

  7. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    He'll just Zuck it up and wait for the stock price to inevitably rise again ... Nothing to see here, just extreme gambling capitalists in action.

  8. Roger Greenwood

    Creepy but...

    Their advertising misses the mark a lot, do advertisers know this or just ignore it? As an example, I have had several facebook accounts over the years, for various reasons. One I use occasionally and it keeps telling me I need to find a partner yet I have been married for over 30 years. They didn't figure that out so what's the chances other adverts will be accurate to my demographic? (they are not).

    Ok I put some duff data in (DOB etc) but I don't set out to massively deceive - that's a different account ;-)

    Maybe they do better with a younger age group, I know nothing about advertising, or both....

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Creepy but...

      Personally, I've never been that convinced by Facebook's promise of incredibly granular demographic data for advertisers. But others obviously are, as you can see from the pricing strategy. However, while I think there is more commercial promise in the content-based marketing of, say, Instagram and TikTok (you already have the AI of AIDA), there's no doubt the demographic and sentiment data, which you get from all the nowtrage, also sells well, just to different buyers.

      And also let's not forget that, whatever they say, advertisers know there a bundle of us who are pretty resistant to their wiles. They build this in to their calcualtions and focus on those more easily swayed leaving us marks open to other approaches.

    2. Freezus

      Re: Creepy but...

      People that obfuscate data are a tiny minority on social media. The vast majority hand over everything that's asked of them, and more, especially 5-10 years ago when privacy issues were less of a news story. They're also not using any privacy features like VPNs, cookie blockers, ad blockers etc. so Facebook know literally all there is to know about them.

      The advertising for this majority is highly specific to the point of being very creepy to you or me, and advertisers lap it up.

    3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: Creepy but...

      There is one fundamental mistake you are making. Remember the people making the decision to spend on advertising on Facebook are the Marketing Department. These people are not well known for their contact with reality.

    4. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Creepy but...

      They keep telling me that there are thousands of men out there just begging to date me.

      Not Going To Happen.

      See also the pregnancy tests they keep trying to sell me.

  9. Steve Button Silver badge

    Barely use them.

    I stopped FB years ago (I'm an early adopter / early leaver). After deleting my account I had to set up a new one for some charity work that I do, and I log on about once a month to check the meeting schedule. They are dead to me, and I think many will go the same way. I don't miss it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Barely use them.

      My Facebook account is so old that when I got it you had to have an email address at one of two UK universities to sign up. I keep it only because there are two people whom I cannot contact any other way, and since I hardly ever contact them it will probably go soon.

      In the UK, though, Facebook has a huge demographic problem, because none of da kidz use it and it has all the coolness of something your parents and gran like. See also: the BBC.

  10. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Megaphone

    There are some words missing...

    On Meta's earnings call, Zuckerberg also mentioned Facebook's substantial investment in improved deception to give the appearance of improved privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are some words missing...

      You know that that is BS anyway because the FB/Meta/whatever model is exactly based on mass privacy violations, and there is really not a snowball's chance in Hell Zuck would do anything to lessen his profit or invasion in people's lives.

      AFAIK, that's what he started FB for all those years ago..

  11. Deanamore

    MetaFail

    I really hope the Metaverse fails soon. It's an idea that nobody really understands or want but people keep investing stupid amounts of money because they think it'll be like Ready Player One rather than Second Life with adverts. The only crowd I ever see genuinely pumped for the Metaverse are crypto bros and all the NFT scam sites like Earth 2.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: MetaFail

      Much as I share your sentiment, I'm not sure if that will be the case. That they've managed to sell more than USD 1 billion of virtual goods to Oculus users is obviously encouraging for them even as it depresses us!

      1. Deanamore

        Re: MetaFail

        There's definitely a lot of people buying into it at the moment but I think most of them are buying in without understanding what they're getting for their money other than the potential to be an early adopter. Basically, they're buying in on the idea rather than the implementation because nobody has any idea how the Metaverse will actually look - other than a janky 3D meeting room with NFT hoodies. Still, it's sad that a lot of people will wind up losing money on this since they're buying into something which only has value provided new people keep buying in.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: MetaFail

          Well, as long as they're buying what you're selliing, who cares why they're doing it?

          1. Lon24 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: MetaFail

            Sadly my 11 year old grandson lives in a different (meta)verse to me. He does exit occasionally for food and the loo - I guess the first person who can invent a way to do that virtually may end up richer than Zuck!

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: MetaFail

              Living in a cocoon like The Matrix?

  12. Tom Servo

    Correlation?

    So Tech platform happy to allow the distribution and propagation of Anti - Vax bullshit has a decrease in user numbers? Hmm.... can't quite put my finger on it but I feel I'm close

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Correlation?

      I don't think that's what the numbers say, just that there is little or no growth. Facebook thrives on controversy. It could be vaccinations, guns, racism, religion, etc. But there are more competitors and also other markets where they're less successful (ie. whatever TikTok is doing).

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    I am waiting

    For the first Metaglasshole to wipe out innocent people with their allegedly autonomous vehicle while immersed in their metaspace.

    The Project Aria sounds at least as creepy as google glass was regarding the first person capture in real time of sound, vision and location.

    I can see more than a few privacy issues with that as there were with the google item.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I am waiting

      Yes. It's said that we should have no real expectation of privacy when out in public. The reality is, of course, that even out in public you are fairly anonymous, even with the rise of CCTV. But when there are many people out there with Facebook glasses on, constantly doing facial recog. on everyone they look at, it turns into something far, far more creepy. Even those of us with no Facebook account and have never had one, are probably tagged in photos by friends and relatives so Facebook will be matching those images too.

      It'll be interesting to see if their facial recog. tries to take into account not only the confidence level of the potential recognition, but matches that with others and takes into account the 80% match it just hit in London might not be the same person it just matched at 75% in New York 10 minutes earlier.

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: I am waiting

        I wonder how well copywriting my name (when used to refer to me) and my image would work? Copyright myself, then go after them for infringement. Woud be hilarious if I could make them eother remove me or pay me.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks goodness

    Facebook finally starting its slide into oblivion.

    It's had far too long in the sun as it is, it's utterly bereft of ideas I can only hope it's demise is swift.

  15. FuzzyTheBear
    WTF?

    Nice, but that now ?

    As long as there's no competing service there's a hole. What replaces FB , even a pay for site , that allows the flexibility without the spying ?

    I'm ready to go.. but what then ? .. Got tons of people i know in the area and i use that to communicate with ( messenger ) them. ICQ is out the door a long time ago .. IRC ? well that flew out the window except for tech support. I don't know .. give me an alternative and ill gladly jump ship.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nice, but that now ?

      "give me an alternative and ill gladly jump ship."

      Email? Telephone? Even in these days, face-to-face meeting (you did say "in the area")?

      How did you communicate with them before FB?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice, but that now ?

        Pigeons and smoke signals, you insensitive clod!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "1.93 billion [down] to 1.929 billion"

    I'm a bit rusty with figures, but that looks like that's drop of a whole 1 million... not exactly earth shattering... they don't look like another Bebo or MySpace yet

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Considering their growth has been going on for so long, you could look at it as a much more significant drop because they are not going from flat to down, they are going from rising to falling. So, instead of rising by 3 million, they fell by 1 million. A salesman would call that a drop of 4 million :-)

  17. msobkow Silver badge

    Near as I can tell, those "small businesses" Crackbook is trying to "defend" are limited to weird clothing distributors, dating sites, and click-bait farms.

    I rarely see legitimate business ads in my feeds. Just overpriced crapware specialists.

  18. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    No Tears Here

    Killed both Fraudbook and Twatter years ago and happier for it. If Fraudbook or whatever they call themselves today goes belly up or has investor troubles no tears will be shed here. Ditto for Twatter.

  19. Binraider Silver badge

    Unreliable news feeds, stories not appearing in order, strange rules on deciding what posts from friends to show. Unfathomably complicated advertising settings.

    Ads that try to work out what you are interested in and miss entirely.

    Bottomless cesspits of misinformation, foreign government propaganda and at-home electoral corruption (but not illegal according to the electoral standards committee. I still have the mail on that).

    So, yes, I use Facebook, but the more it gets in way of the functionality I want - namely to talk to friends - the less likely I am to stick about. Are any of the alternatives any better?

    I much preferred computers pre mass-internet. Funny that.

  20. JWLong

    Host File

    I block almost a thousand IP addresses that belong to FarceFace. So I don't get to see there shit on the web. Also block Google, Twitter, Linkedin, MicroShitSoft, and about 5000 ad servers.

    Damn, the web is really fast without all that shit in the pipe.

    1. aaaashy

      Re: Host File

      1000 IP addresses belong to FB? got the list? now if we could share a list like that to friends on FB that might cause a ruckus

      1. Sp1z

        Re: Host File

        This is what I'm using from their ASNs. I've got Google too if you want it.

        These are plumbed into my FortiGate and in the iptables of my VPN VM so no matter which of my networks I use, they get blackholed.

        EDIT: This won't work with a hosts file, you'll need to find a way of getting your router or devices to drop packets to and from these subnets.

        102.132.100.0 255.255.254.0

        102.132.96.0 255.255.254.0

        102.132.99.0 255.255.255.0

        103.4.96.0 255.255.252.0

        129.134.0.0 255.255.0.0

        147.75.208.0 255.255.240.0

        157.240.0.0 255.255.0.0

        173.252.64.0 255.255.192.0

        179.60.192.0 255.255.252.0

        185.60.216.0 255.255.252.0

        204.15.20.0 255.255.252.0

        31.13.24.0 255.255.248.0

        31.13.64.0 255.255.192.0

        45.64.40.0 255.255.252.0

        66.220.144.0 255.255.240.0

        69.171.224.0 255.255.224.0

        69.63.176.0 255.255.240.0

        74.119.76.0 255.255.252.0

        1. Mike_R
          Linux

          Re: Host File

          If you're lucky enough to be using any Linux distro, lookup fail2ban,

          lets you ban lists of IP addresses.

          Otherwise enter them in your hosts file, pointing at localhost

  21. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    What IS Facebook?

    A web site to keep in touch with your friends? A web site for following your favorite repost bots? Crowd-sourced content for hours of mindless surfing? Influencer dumpster fire? News? Fake News? Advertising platform? Photo sharing? Virtual reality platform? Alternate universe? I don't know either and it was getting really bad at everything. There's only one way it could get worse...

    In Dec 2021, Zuck Co decided that e-mail advertising is the new way to go. You can not opt-out and you are forbidden from changing your e-mail address. The only remaining option is to delete your account. Done! It takes one month to delete your account so I'd be on the lookout for a big subscriber dip in January 2022.

  22. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Alternative theory

    Back to the spring of 2020. Technology becomes a substitute for life, essentially. FB, ZM, TWTR, PINS et al. become the main/only way to communicate. NFLX and AMZN (Prime) stand for entertainment. The latter also becomes the main shopping/delivery option. Tech stocks, including all of those mentioned above, heat up.

    2 years later it looks like some of us may be on the verge of getting out of house arrest. Pronto, FB, NFLX, AMZN, TWTR, PINS, ZM are back to the price levels of spring or early summer of 2020 (just checked the charts). Maybe some people actually prefer it on the outside rather commenting on El Reg wasting time in front of a screen, if allowed?

    It will probably disappoint some, but maybe - just maybe? - it's a correction rather than collapse?

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