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Why This Selfie Cost Facebook (Meta) 18 Billion

Rohan is a student who shares his thoughts and opinions on the technology sector.

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Facebook (Meta) Has Problems

At the end of August 2022, Facebook's market cap fluctuated between 469 billion dollars and 451 billion dollars. The company, now known as Meta, had a rough year on the stock market, going down 50.5% and might continue to drop until some recovery happens.

That being said, seeing how Facebook was having a pretty flat week, there was only one reason for the market cap drop.

That reason was a selfie. Mark Zuckerberg took a selfie with his metaverse avatar, behind a very poorly done Eiffel Tower.

People made fun of it, and the image quickly went viral as a meme known as “The 10 billion dollar selfie." Turns out that number is wrong and based on the stock drop; it was actually the 18 billion dollar selfie.

Facebook right now is clearly having an issue: People aren’t excited for the stock. All things considered, this suggests a bigger problem with investors over Facebook as a company.

Financials

Facebook's 2021 revenue was 118 bn with a profit of 39.4 bn. That's a 33.4% margin.

By comparison, Amazon's 2021 revenue was 469 bn with 33 bn in profit and a 7% margin.

Facebook is one of the highest margin and biggest revenue companies in tech, with only two companies surpassing it: Google and Microsoft. Companies like Tesla also exist, which are valued higher than Facebook, but Facebook’s profit is 70% of Tesla’s total revenue and 8x the profit.

There’s also the core of Facebook itself: the biggest on social media with 2.9 billion facebook users and 2 billion Instagram users; the largest messaging platform, with 2 billion WhatsApp users, that aren’t monetized well.

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Also, it is the largest producer of VR hardware, with 15 million units sold, giving them a 75% stronghold on the VR market—bigger over any company has for one hardware product.

Why Is Meta's Stock Falling?

The big question though is why is the stock itself falling? Here are some simple and kind of silly explanations.

1. The MySpace Comparison

For roughly 10 years, people have said casually “Well, Facebook is going to eventually going to become like MySpace.”

MySpace was a product that peaked only around four years after coming out and never hit 30% of the users Facebook had or 2% the revenue. The comparison is pretty irrelevant at this point.

2. Meta and VR

This one might be a fairer complaint, where the rebrand to Meta has had stockholders stop looking at the other products, margins or revenue and just think VR. This makes it so when Mark Zuckerberg takes a cringe VR selfie, it shows little future for this space and people forget the rest.

3. Mark Zuckerberg Himself

I’ve done a lot of YouTube polls on this, where literal millions of people have voted.

They like Instagram. They like WhatsApp. Some like Facebook. They like Oculus.

They don’t like Mark Zuckerberg.

I sadly think it’s just a personality thing. For whatever reason, Elon Musk can get about 40–60% support in polls, while Mark Zuckerberg can’t carry over 10%.

That’s the biggest reason for the drop and why early on, it might have been smarter for Zuckerberg to be a blank face, similar to Larry Page and Sergey Brin for Google.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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