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Meta quarterly profit more than doubles

Meta quarterly profit more than doubles

Meta yesterday reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled from last year’s figure to US$11.6 billion. — AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 26 — Meta yesterday reported that its quarterly profit more than doubled from last year’s figure to US$11.6 billion (RM55.45 billion) as ad revenue climbed.

The tech firm behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp said revenue also grew 23 per cent to US$34 billion when compared to the same period a year earlier.

“We had a good quarter for our community and business,” Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an earnings release.

The number of people using Facebook monthly rose slightly to 3.05 billion in a year-over-year comparison while monthly active users of Meta’s “family” of apps was 3.96 billion in a 7 percent increase from the same quarter in 2022, the company reported.


Meta said it had trimmed costs in the recently ended quarter, with layoffs and other belt-tightening measures started last year providing “greater efficiency.”

Meta had suffered a rough 2022 amid a souring economic climate, which forced advertisers to cut back on spending, and Apple’s data privacy changes, which allowed users to block ad targeting, the pillar of Meta’s business.

Meta’s vow of austerity on spending brought an unprecedented round of cost-cutting that saw the company lay off tens of thousands of workers since last November.


Meta shares, which closed the formal trading day down, rose more than 2 per cent in after-hours trades to US$306.69.

Dozens of US states this week accused Meta of profiting “from children’s pain,” damaging their mental health and misleading people about the safety of its platforms.

“In seeking to maximise its financial gains, Meta has repeatedly misled the public about the substantial dangers of its Social Media Platforms,” argued a joint lawsuit filed in federal court in California.

The states accused Meta of exploiting young users by creating a business model designed to maximize time they spend on the platform despite harm to their health.

In total more than 40 states are suing Meta, though some opted to file in local courts rather than join in the federal case.

Meta said it was “disappointed” by the suit. It said the states were singling it out unfairly instead of working with social media companies to develop universal standards for the whole industry.

Meanwhile, the European Union last week began seeking more details on the measures Meta and TikTok have taken to stop the spread of “illegal content and disinformation” in light of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Meta insisted it was addressing the issues raised.

The AI race

Zuckerberg said in September, the tech giant is putting artificial intelligence into digital assistants and smart glasses as it seeks to gain lost ground in the AI race.

“I’m proud of the work our teams have done to advance AI and mixed reality with the launch of Quest 3, Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, and our AI studio,” Zuckerberg said in the earnings release.

The second-generation Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses made in a partnership with EssilorLuxottica have a starting price of US$299.

“Smart glasses are the ideal form factor for you to let AI assistants see what you’re seeing and hear what you’re hearing,” Zuckerberg said at the conference.

Meta has taken a much more cautious approach than its rivals Microsoft, OpenAI and Google to push out AI products, prioritising small steps and making its in-house models available to developers and researchers.

Meta’s chief technology officer has pushed back on assertions that the company has fallen behind rivals like ChatGPT in the explosive surge across the tech industry in generative AI.

“The majority of the world’s population will have their first experience of generative artificial intelligence with us,” Andrew “Boz” Bosworth told AFP in a recent interview.

Meta unveiled AI-infused chatbots with personalities at the gathering, along with tools for creating images or written content using spoken prompts. — AFP