Meta reported fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, with financials that disappointed Wall Street enough to send the company's stock plummeting. As the numbers came in, shares of the company, which are still trading under the ticker symbol FB for the time being, fell 20%.
While Meta's last quarter saw a few expected trends, such as Apple's iOS privacy changes dampening its ad business, it also revealed the surprising fact that Facebook, Meta's core app, is no longer attracting new users.
From the third to the fourth quarters of 2021, Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs) remained constant at 2.9 billion. Worse, its daily active users (DAUs) fell from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion during the same time period, demonstrating the company's commitment to growth at all costs.
Facebook is a mature product, it has almost reached its saturation point. And the company is putting more emphasis than ever on its "family" of apps, which includes WhatsApp and Instagram, which are newer products that are likely to have a long way to go before reaching that level of saturation.
The slowdown in user growth coincided with the announcement by the company formerly known as Facebook that it would rebrand as a "metaverse" company, with plans to direct its resources toward developing immersive virtual experiences.