Meta’s latest metamorphosis is a mixed bag

Meta’s trying to be cool again. The results are mixed.

Through its history, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been defined by its phases.


There was the early-Facebook phase, which included many regrettable profile pictures, and cast Zuckerberg as a poster child for hoodied, dorm-dwelling tech founders.

Then came the phase of rapid growth — riddled with copycat product accusations, advertising challenges, the threat of TikTok, a sunscreen snafu, and intense antitrust, political, and societal backlash.

The last few years, however, have carved out a new kind of phase: an attempt to refocus the company (and media attention) elsewhere, to mixed results.

And it all started with the metaverse

Remember that? We don’t blame you if you don’t. The pivot to Meta faced intense criticism — even before Apple’s Vision Pro picked at Meta’s all-in-on-the-metaverse scabs — and forgetting about it all almost feels like the goal at the moment.

Other recent refocuses include:

  • The act of refocusing: Zuckerberg’s “Year of Efficiency,” which has seen thousands of morale-crushing layoffs, has so far been a success by at least one measure, with Meta’s stock up ~150%.
  • WhatsApp: Last month, Zuckerberg said the app crossed 200m monthly Business customers, up from 50m in 2020.
  • Unfortunately, abs: Elon Musk recently challenged jujitsu-trained Zuckerberg to a cage match, inspired by news that Meta was planning a Twitter rival, to which Zuckerberg said, “send me location.”

The aforementioned rival, Threads, did materialize, of course — and quickly hacked its way to become the fastest-growing consumer app ever.

But big wins are hard to come by for Meta these days: Threads engagement is already tanking — last week, daily active users dipped 20%, and time spent per user plummeted 50%.

Topics: Facebook

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