back to article Meta's value plummets as Zuckerberg admits AI needs more time and money

Meta's shares tumbled after company boss Mark Zuckerberg said the quiet bit out loud: it will take a while before AI bets start paying back the huge financial investments it is making. At first glance, results for the first calendar quarter of 2024 looked promising. Revenue was up 27 percent year-on-year to $36.5 billion, …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The CEO pointed out that it usually takes a while for the company to monetize a new product,"

    How many really new products have they monetised other than the original social media stuff?

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Why does it matter what the ceo said ?

      Do you think ceos are gods or something ?

    2. Jedit Silver badge
      Big Brother

      "How many really new products have they monetised"

      According to reports, Facebook had 15.6m users register accounts in Q4 2023. So, 15.6 million new products.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "How many really new products have they monetised"

        Point taken. Have an upvote.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

    Of course they aren't.

    They're not investors, they're gamblers. They want their fix, NOW (or soon, at the very least).

    An investor is a person who wants to participate in a project, and is willing to put funds in it to bring it fruition, not to get a return in two years.

    If the project is important, it could take ten years. A true investor knows that and is willing to take the risk because he believes in the project.

    Today's "investors" are just selfish man-children who want their next lollipop for snack time. Long-term thinking ? Not their strong suit.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

      I don't think any investor will be happy seeing the claimed return being kicked further and further down the road. They'll start to wonder if there might have been stuff that would have been more worthwhile participating in.

      1. theOtherJT Silver badge

        Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

        Serious investors would have taken the time to understand what it was Meta was selling them before giving them any money in the first place (and then would probably have decided not to.)

        I think OP's point here is that most of the people pouring money into Meta (and all the other new shiny tech stocks) aren't serious investors, they're gambling addicts with access to vast amounts of other people's money.

        1. pdh

          Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

          > they're gambling addicts with access to vast amounts of other people's money

          Or they're following the momentum and attempting to profit from other people's bandwagon mentality. That can be a good strategy as long as you don't get caught holding the bag when it starts to fall apart.

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Serious investors ...

          ... invested in AI chip designers and fabricators.

        3. CB__

          Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

          "people pouring money into Meta (and all the other new shiny tech stocks)"

          -- very much reminds me of the heady days leading up to the millennium, when "people" were pouring obscene amounts of money into anything that had a ".com" at the end, with crazy pound signs in their eyes.

          I wouldn't say that it all ended badly (although a lot of the sillier things did) -- but there was a > 5 yr dip before the more sensible stuff actually became viable/profitable. So like most good investments, it's definitely not for the short term -- and some due diligence on whether it's "sensible" would also be... er, sensible.

    2. abend0c4 Silver badge

      Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

      There's not a lot they can do about it when Zuck has over 60% of the votes.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

        Which should be a warning to any would-be investor.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

          Yes, that should smell a bit odd to investors. You could even say it smells a bit Musky...

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

          Well, unless said investor got in early and simply takes profit from Meta's success as a seller of advertising space and user data.

          I think we've circled back to Pascal's original point. There are investors who care about a company; and there are investors who are just looking to make money, and don't care whether it's from a well-run firm succeeding in a viable business, or a market run-up, or whatever else. And, of course, there are fools with money. (These sets may not be disjoint — but, again, most of the money in the stock market isn't controlled by individual investors but by institutional ones.)

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

        Just like a kleptocracy in Russia.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "investors are unwilling to wait too long"

      Today's "investors" are just selfish man-children who want their next lollipop for snack time.

      Some are. And some are "activist investors" who want to squeeze short-term profit out of a company until it dies.

      But most investors, by value of stock held, are institutional, and many of those follow sets of (proprietary) rules, increasing or decreasing holdings in firms based on probably largely arbitrary but in any event predefined principles. The overall effect is mostly to chase short-term profit, and to give some firms unreasonable valuations; but actual human oversight of those funds' trading decisions is largely an afterthought.

      The stock market isn't dominated by greedy, short-sighted children. It doesn't even rise to that level of intentional behavior.

  3. Detective Emil
    Flame

    Can somebody come up with a suitable prompt …

    … to generate a satisfying video of billions of dollars invested in AI going up in smoke?

    1. itsthemonkey

      Re: Can somebody come up with a suitable prompt …

      Show me my money in 12 months if I invest it in AI right now? Show me what happened to all the money invested in NFT's? Show me what happened to the money Zuck ploughed into VR? Show me my money invested in Muskrat's enterprises (pick your own, Twatter/eX corporation or Tesla)? Show me a pile of money I put in one of Elon's spacecraft 15 minutes after launch?

      All of these will produce the same video, wonder why?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can somebody come up with a suitable prompt …

        I'd already forgotten the NFT bubble. Sic transit

        1. Bebu Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Can somebody come up with a suitable prompt …

          《I'd already forgotten the NFT bubble. Sic transit》

          Inevitable if you funge a bubble it bursts and you are left with just wet soapy fingers. Yes, even on Mondays, vomiting on public transport is never pretty.

          I wouldn't mind paying a buck or two, for a token that some gullible fool paid many thousands for, as long there was credible provenance to show that they had.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Can somebody come up with a suitable prompt …

        Yes. On the other hand, many of us — myself included — were very dubious about the prospects of Facebook at its IPO, and in fact the stock has done very well. Once in a while a stupid thing proves to be profitable, galling though that may be.

  4. Glenn Amspaugh
    Coat

    For What?

    "AI needs more time and money"

    to do what?

    Are they throwing billon$ of dollars in servers and chips at the wall hoping something sticks?

    Is this some grand race to elimante labor costs so tech giants can operate with 100% profit from an unemployed human race with no $$$ to spend?

    Just below the comment section there's another story: "Next-gen Meta AI chip servers up ads while sipping power."

    WTAF?!!

    (A = 'Actual')

    Really seems like it's time to grab my coat and get outta here.

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: For What?

      AI the label is just a new con. Every few months corporate america invents a new buzzroad in their never ending attempt to con the market or someone else to buy their lump of shit for trillions. They are psychopaths they never stop their big lies and fake claims for more and more money.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Farcebook's problem is that it's basically a one trick pony.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Being a one-trick pony isn't a problem when the trick makes money. The problem comes with not wanting to be a one-trick pony.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        I guess their problem now is that the competition regulators have finally woken up and realised that letting FB buy Instagram has pretty much given what is now a near monopoly to Meta and they probably won't let it happen again.

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        The problem also comes if a new pony appears on the scene which is faster and more people want to back it and no longer have any interest in the original pony!

  6. jake Silver badge

    The current AI Winter ...

    ... actually started a little over three years ago.

    Unfortunately, people were stuck at home playing with themselves (Covid), and didn't notice. The marketards took advantage of this and suckered billions out of the investors. The investors, not wanting to take a bath (who can blame them?) have continued to prop this up artificially.

    The coming crash will be spectacular. Totally predictable, mind, but spectacular nonetheless.

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    is the AI hype bubble threatening to burst?

    Please, yes. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bottom already dropped out but the Roadrunner tech companies have not responded to gravity. There's always a delay as they run off the cliff.

  9. vogon00

    Value Adjustments....

    .....are a bitch:-)

    "Meta's value plummets", eh? Looks like a correction to a more realistic valuation.......although I'm probably wrong as it has some left :-)

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Value Adjustments....

      Meta doest have value, value implies it has some positive use. Value and price are not the same thing.

  10. DS999 Silver badge
    FAIL

    That metaverse bet is really paying off

    Can't believe Zuckerberg still believes in that!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

      I blame Apple. They got rid of the the big-name founder, Jobs, and it didn't work out until they brought him back. Now all the investors and boards are looking at their big-name founders - not to name any here - and are scared the same thing might happen if they go down that route.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

        Apple seems to be doing fine since Cook took over. It took Jobs to turn them around from death's door, but not to more than sustain their success (8x gain in their stock price) for the past decade plus. Microsoft has been booming post Gates, once they were rid of the incompetent Ballmer. The worst kind of CEO you can have is a metrics based micromanager, because he makes you take your eye off the ball to focus on the irrelevant numbers he is rather than what will help the business succeed.

        Zuck was a one trick pony. He managed to turn a local college website designed primarily to scam on chicks into a massive social media phenomenon. He had no scruples so was willing to monetize the hell out of it with users' personal information. But that's a far cry from entering a completely new business in the form of the "metaverse". He's no more qualified than you or I to lead a trillion dollar corporation over that mountain.

        This has nothing to do with investors or boards fearing what happens if Zuck leaves. It has to do with Zuck having over half the voting power, despite owning a minority of the shares. They have no choice but to follow his lead, the only alternative if they don't like where he's going is to sell their shares. What I wonder is how he convinced enough shareholders to let him dilute their voting power. Did they really feel that if Zuck left it would turn into Apple circa 1996? I find that hard to believe, but there could have been some under the table dealing that wasn't part of the official story.

        1. I am David Jones Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

          Zuckerberg’s “no more qualified than you or I to lead a trillion dollar corporation over that mountain.”

          Well, despite my handle, I know that I am Jeff Bezos (shhhh!). Does that make you Tim Cook?

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

          Apple - it seems to me that a lot of Apple's recent success is due to people's use patterns changing. Widespread fast internet is available from the air, battery technology makes small mobile devices possible, and the tech inside makes them powerful enough to be useful.

          Microsoft - haven't they been losing market share (partly to Linux, a lot to people swapping desktop boxes for tablets such as those offered by...Apple)? Seems to me that their main thing at the moment is The Cloud. Again, like Apple, this will have needed to wait until broadband was ubiquitous and FTTP gaining ground.

          So, I don't think the issue is who the CEO was (except Ballmer, he was a dud) but more was the CEO of the time able to spot a niche and make it an irresistible product? Gates did, Jobs did, the current guys seem to be doing okay. But what it needs is something real - an actual product they can drop into your hands and say "this is yours for $xxx". Not vague promises but actual products.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

            yeh the ceo did everything... beats me why companies like Apple even have hordes of engineers.

            How exactly did Steve do everything when he couldnt even touch type or program ?

            WHy is apple spending billions on all them engineers when Tim does everything ?

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: That metaverse bet is really paying off

          "What I wonder is how he convinced enough shareholders to let him dilute their voting power. Did they really feel that if Zuck left it would turn into Apple circa 1996?"

          Maybe they did. If they wanted - and dared - to get rid of him now I've no doubt they would find a way. It would have to be done through the courts so it would take a while or go to him and tell him they'll have not alternative to dump their stock which will affect the value of his.

  11. Andy Mac

    If the best AI Facebook can muster is their CEO, it’s clear the technology has a long way to go…

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just have AI fiddle the books, Mark!

    Works for everyone else, right?

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