Year in review: Meta's highs and lows in 2022
With 2023 fast approaching, it is a good time to take a step back and look at how our favorite companies fared this year. Meta is a company that has had a tumultuous time. Top executives stepping down, mass layoffs, ambitious products, declining revenue...Meta's 2022 had a bit of everything. Here, we recap the highs and lows of Meta in 2022.
Meta's revenue declined for the first time
Let's begin by talking about money. After a decade of growth, Meta reported a year-over-year decline in its revenue for the first time since it went public in 2012. In the Q2 of 2022, Meta's revenue saw a 1% year-over-year decline. The same trend continued in the quarter that ended in September, with the company reporting a 4% year-over-year decline.
Price per ad decreased 18% year-over-year in Q3
Meta's poor quarterly results can be directly attributed to its falling ad revenue. The company's revenue from ads decreased in both Q2 and Q3, with the latter seeing around a 4% fall. Similarly, the average price per ad saw a steady decline as well. It recorded an 8% year-over-year decrease in Q1, 14% in Q2, and 18% in Q3.
Sheryl Sandberg quit Meta after 14 years
Meta's 2022 was also defined by some personnel changes. The most notable is Sheryl Sandberg, who after 14 years at Meta, decided to step down from her position of chief operating officer (COO). Her role in making Meta (previously Facebook) the ad behemoth it later became is unquestionable. Earlier this month, John Carmack, the company's VR head, also resigned. He called the company inefficient.
Many senior officials exited the company in India
Meta India saw a slew of departures from the top management. It began with the resignation of Ajit Mohan, Meta's country head, in November. His exit was followed by the departures of Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp's India head, and Rajiv Aggarwal, Meta's public policy head. Another high-profile exit was of Vijay Choletti, who quit as WhatsApp Pay head after just four months into the job.
Sandhya Devanathan was appointed Meta's India head
Following Mohan's departure, Meta appointed Manish Chopra, director and head of partnerships in the company, as the interim head. Last month, Chopra was replaced by Sandhya Devanathan, who was previously the head of the company's gaming business in the APAC region. Shivnath Thukral replaced Aggarwal as Meta's public policy head in India.
Meta Quest Pro was launched at Meta Connect
This year's Meta Connect was important for the company. It had the potential to either make or break the company's metaverse ambitions. In the event, Meta introduced the Quest Pro VR headset, which targets professionals and businesses and not really gaming aficionados. The company also teased an AR headset and 'Neural Field Radiance' 3D scanning technology.
Meta tightened control over underage users on Facebook, Instagram
Meta and its social media companies have often been criticized for their lackadaisical approach to users' privacy and security. This year, the company took some concrete steps to address those concerns. The company has tightened its control over underage users. Both Facebook and Instagram have received updates in line with the company's 'Best Interests of the Child' framework.
Meta brought many updates to Reels
One of the major highlights of Meta's 2022 has been its rivalry with TikTok. The company identified Reels as the best way to tackle its TikTok problem. This year, Reels received several upgrades. They are now 90 seconds long and have a slew of creative tools. Users can also add interactive stickers and import audio. You can even create a 2022 recap reel.
Meta laid off over 11,000 employees
Everything we discussed above is a major highlight of Meta's 2022. However, what defined the company's year was Mark Zuckerberg's decision to sack over 11,000 employees in what was the industry's biggest layoff. The company's lukewarm quarterly results, declining ad revenue, and macroeconomic headwinds are what led to the mass layoff. The massive spending on metaverse also played its part in the historic decision.
Can Meta recover in 2023?
Once valued at over $1 trillion, Meta is now languishing at $562 billion. With its Reality Labs Division, which is in charge of the metaverse, continuing to burn cash, not many believe that the company will make huge strides in its recovery in 2023. Zuckerberg is still focused on his pet project. Will that be Meta's undoing? Let's wait and watch.