Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is definitely not freaking out about his company losing a quarter of its value this week. As such, he certainly wasn’t crying in that staff meeting where he attempted to process Meta losing more than $200 billion overnight — he’d just scratched a cornea or something.
That’s not even a joke; Zuckerberg actually tried using this line to lighten the mood, given that his eyes were actually red and teary — that’s what one employee in attendance told Bloomberg, at least. Zuck took time during the meeting to explain that the historic loss of capital was a direct response to Meta’s lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter of 2022.
At its lowest point, Meta lost an incredible $251 billion in value following the company’s latest financial report. That means Zuckerberg’s own pile of gold lost somewhere around $31 billion. To be fair, we’d probably be tearing up a little, too.
But wait, there’s more: Zuckerberg told employees during the meeting to focus on Meta’s video products, like Instagram Reels, as a way to recover from the week’s flailing. We are once again pivoting to video.
Pivot time — In the investor call where he announced that Facebook had lost daily active users for the first time ever, Zuckerberg spoke about TikTok as the main source of competition for Facebook. He expressed awe at the app’s ability to keep growing at such a rapid pace, despite already having more than a billion active users.
Zuckerberg’s response to this direct competition is, as always, to copy it and infuse the copy with cash. Meta-owned Instagram introduced the short-form video feature Reels to do just this; now Zuckerberg is directing the company to prioritize Reels and other video products.
While this may be a genuine method by which to fend off TikTok — it’s worked for Facebook many times in the past — it’s also objectively funny. Pivot to video is such a common trend in online media that the phrase has its own Wikipedia page. As that page notes, pivoting to video usually means jobs will be lost in the process. If the stock drop wasn’t enough to cause concern for employees, the pivot to video certainly will be.
Not exactly a death knell — Following reports of Meta’s downturn, many across social media have posited that this is a turning point for the company — more specifically that Meta will not be able to recover its losses, spelling the beginning of its end.
This is somewhat premature. Meta is still worth about $700 billion. Is it significant that so much of its value was lost in a matter of hours? Of course. But that doesn’t necessarily preclude total annihilation in the near future.
Meta’s fall this week will likely impact employees most. Many in Big Tech are compensated with stock options. Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is still worth more than $100 billion. We won’t be wasting any tears on him.