The apps from the Facebook group Meta are once again a money machine: In the most recent quarter, sales jumped by 25 percent. Founder Mark Zuckerberg can continue to invest billions in virtual worlds.
Meta’s advertising business continues to run at full speed – and the Facebook Group is paying its first dividend. Sales in the last quarter rose by a quarter year-on-year to 40.1 billion dollars (36.7 billion euros), as Meta announced after the US stock market closed. The bottom line is that profits jumped from $4.6 billion a year ago to $14 billion. Meta set the quarterly dividend at 50 cents.
At the same time, the group continues to spend a lot of money on the development of virtual worlds and the devices for them. Reality Labs’ operating loss rose to $4.65 billion from $4.3 billion a year earlier. Meanwhile, the division’s sales rose from $727 million to just under $1.1 billion.
Investors had repeatedly expressed concern that Meta was spending too much money on a technology with uncertain profit prospects. The doubts grew at times last year as the overall online advertising business slowed. Founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg had already confirmed back then that he saw the future in the metaverse and would therefore keep investments high.
However, investors received the current figures with enthusiasm. The price of the Meta share temporarily rose by over twelve percent in after-hours trading. Facebook now has 2.11 billion daily active users. And 3.19 billion users access at least one of the company’s apps every day. Meta also includes Instagram and WhatsApp, among others.
Threads has more than 130 million users
Threads, the Facebook group Meta’s alternative to Elon Musk’s Twitter successor X, now has 130 million monthly active users. Zuckerberg mentioned the number when presenting business figures. Threads gained around 30 million users within three months. Meta launched the service in the EU in December after months of delays.
Zuckerberg had always said that he saw the potential for more than a billion users on Threads. He emphasized that the app is now being used more than during the initial short-term push to launch it last summer. Compared to other meta services, Threads is still small.
Threads is docked to Meta’s photo and video service Instagram and can therefore rely on existing connections between hundreds of millions of users. That’s why the app is seen as a strong competitor to X.