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Watching Meta Over One Year: This Was The Headline On Meta Employees One Year Ago; What Changed? – Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META)

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Watching Meta Over One Year: This Was The Headline On Meta Employees One Year Ago; What Changed? - Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META)

Exactly one year ago, on March 21, 2022, this was the headline: ‘Facebook Parent Meta Employees Seek Greener Pastures Post Stock Meltdown.’

Then, reports claimed Meta Platforms, Inc META employees were burdened with underwater stock options and looked to exit following plunging stock prices.

As of March 2022, Meta employees with $100,000 worth of restricted stock units around its September stock peak found them worth ~$57,000.

A series of internal leaks put massive political pressure on the company fueled by the multibillion-dollar sting of privacy changes from Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google.

Opportunists from other companies like Microsoft Corp MSFT, whose price was down 10.3% as of March 2022, could theoretically “buy the dip” by taking a job at a beaten-down company like Meta and getting more stock options at a lower price.

However, by November, things changed, and the falling stock price signaled trouble. Finally, in November 2022, Meta fired 11,000 people, or 13% of its staff, scaled back budgets, and shrunk its real estate footprint in the face of macro uncertainties.

Again on March 14, 2023, Meta disclosed plans to downsize team strength by around 10,000 people and to close about 5,000 additional open roles to make it a better technology company and improve its financial performance amid macro uncertainties.

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that his restructuring plans focused on flattening its organizational structure, dumping lower-priority projects, and reducing hiring rates.

Meta highlighted investing in building AI tools as ChatGPT adoption gains momentum worldwide. It emphasized how the last downsizing improved efficiency and reduced costs by cutting out duplicative work and helping execute its highest priorities faster.

As of March 2023, Meta reportedly slashed the price of Quest Pro to fend off competition from Apple’s upcoming MR headset launch. It also remained rattled by the success of ByteDance Ltd TikTok and had forgone projects to win back lost users to the popular Chinese social media platform.

Major tech players saw huge losses in 2022, weighed by higher interest rates, high inflation, and uncertain economic conditions. Meta lost two-thirds of its value. Amazon.Com Inc AMZN also lost half its value.

Interestingly, Meta shares gained over 64% YTD, beating the broader index returns of 14.96%.

Price Action: META shares closed higher by 2.24% at $204.28 on Thursday.

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Facebook Rules Social Media Kingdom, But Elon Musk Has A Tweet Up His Sleeve – Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Similarweb (NYSE:SMWB)

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Facebook Rules Social Media Kingdom, But Elon Musk Has A Tweet Up His Sleeve - Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Similarweb (NYSE:SMWB)

In a world where Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc. META reigns supreme with three out of the top five social media platforms in terms of monthly users, curiosity arose when Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, reacted to these stats. 

What Happened: The Twitter account World of Statistics recently released a compilation of the “most popular” social media platforms based on their monthly active users, where Facebook claimed the top spot with a staggering 2.99 billion users, closely followed by YouTubeWhatsAppInstagram and TikTok, owned by ByteDance, rounding up the top five contenders on the list.

See Also: Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Social Media Feeds Are Now Fueled By AI-Generated Content

Interestingly, Musk’s Twitter was not even in the top 10 but at number 16 with 450 million monthly active users. 

The tech billionaire responded to these numbers saying when evaluating social media platforms based on total user hours per month, the microblogging site would emerge as a significantly higher-ranking contender. 

Later, Similarweb Ltd. SMWB, a digital intelligence company, also took to Twitter and shared a list of top-performing social media platforms in terms of traffic to their website over the last three months. 

YouTube claimed the top spot with a remarkable 32.33 billion visits, followed by Facebook with 16.87 billion. Twitter secured the third position with 6.353 billion visits, followed by Instagram at 6.185 billion. 

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Netizens were quick to notice that while in terms of monthly active users, Twitter might not rank in the top 10, the microblogging site has a much higher position when it comes to traffic. 

Why It’s Important: For the unversed, Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta plans to launch a decentralized text-based social media platform to rival Musk’s Twitter. The upcoming platform was reportedly codenamed “P92,” which now goes by the name “Barcelona.” 

Previously, it was also reported that since Musk became the owner of Twitter, fewer users are actively engaging with his posts on the platform. The tech billionaire also reportedly fired a Twitter engineer because he wasn’t happy about the impressions on his own tweets.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Consumer Tech coverage by following this link

Read Next: Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue Subscriber Base Growth’ Hasn’t Even Doubled’ Month After Relaunch

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Meta, Apple rivalry enters new phase as tech giants go after headsets

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Meta, Apple rivalry enters new phase as tech giants go after headsets

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., demonstrates the Meta Quest Pro during the virtual Meta Connect event in New York, US, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook have spent the last several years sparring over internet privacy and digital advertising. But they’ve never competed head-to-head in a real way.

That’s about to change.

With Apple officially announcing its long-awaited mixed-reality headset — the Vision Pro — on Monday, the iPhone maker and Facebook’s parent are now firmly in the same market.

Zuckerberg and Cook both see the next major era of personal computing as one that involves people putting on a headset to enter a virtual world and interacting with digital objects in 3D. Cook describes it as spatial computing, and Zuckerberg calls it the metaverse. Other technologists refer to it as mixed or augmented reality, because digital imagery can be superimposed on to the physical world.

Facebook jumped into the market nine years ago, when it acquired VR headset startup Oculus for $2 billion. In late 2021, the company changed its name to Meta, and Zuckerberg committed to spending billions of dollars a quarter developing the underlying VR and AR technologies needed to make his vision of the future a reality.

As of today, Meta owns the lion’s share of a nascent market, far outpacing rivals like Sony, HTC and Magic Leap in headset sales. Research firm CCS Insight recently reported that global shipments of VR and AR headsets fell over 12% to 9.6 million in 2022 from the prior year, as consumers pulled back on discretionary spending.

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Several technology analysts told CNBC in December that Apple’s entry into the VR and AR market could give the sector the jolt it needs to start getting consumers more excited about the upsides of the technology.

As CCS Insight analyst Leo Gebbie said, “If one company has the ability to transform the VR market overnight, it’s Apple.”

But Apple hasn’t said exactly when Vision Pro will be available — only that it will be sometime early next year. More important, it’s hardly designed to be a mass-market product, at least at the beginning. The initial price is $3,499.

That gives Zuckerberg some breathing room. Meta’s Quest family of VR headsets include the $300 Quest 2 and the $500 Quest 3, which will be available in the fall. The company’s Reality Labs division, which is responsible for hardware and software development, lost $13.72 billion last year and $3.99 billion in the first quarter.

Wall Street hammered Meta in 2022, sending the stock down by almost two-thirds, partly on concerns about the excessive metaverse costs. But the shares have rebounded this year after Zuckerberg reeled in expenses in other corners of the company, including customer service, and trust and safety.

Business model spat

For Zuckerberg, turning mixed reality into a business reality has become central to the company’s future.

Unlike Apple or Google parent Alphabet, Meta doesn’t control an operating system akin to iOS or Android. Those platforms have allowed Apple and Google to dominate the smartphone market, helping them generate billions of dollars from their respective app stores and allowing them to dictate the rules that third-party developers — including Facebook — must follow.

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Apple’s 2021 privacy change to iOS so badly wounded Facebook that the company predicted soon thereafter that it would result in a $10 billion hit to revenue in 2022. The update limited the ability for Facebook and other social media companies to track users across the web and deliver targeted advertising. Meta’s massive and fast-growing online ad business suddenly found its business shrinking.

Zuckerberg has been vocal about what he considers to be Apple’s unfair iOS and app store policies. His company said that by removing targeting capabilities, Apple was badly hurting the many small businesses that used Facebook’s ad model to reach new customers in an efficient way.

Last November, Zuckerberg said at a conference that “Apple has sort of singled themselves out as the only company that is trying to control unilaterally what apps get on a device.” He added, “I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place to be.”

For his part, Cook has been unsympathetic, long criticizing Facebook for being in the business of making money off users’ personal information rather than selling a product that people want to buy. In 2021, Cook linked Facebook’s business model to real-world consequences like violence or reducing public trust in Covid.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stands next to the new Apple Vision Pro headset is displayed during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 05, 2023 in Cupertino, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform,” Cook said at a data privacy conference in Brussels. He didn’t mention Facebook by name at the time.

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By developing the metaverse on its own terms, Meta has its best shot at sidestepping Apple’s dominance and writing its own rules. It’s a giant gamble, though, envisioning that the metaverse will tip into the mainstream.

Meanwhile, Apple knows all about making consumer products for the masses, whether it’s computers, digital music players, smartphones, tablets or watches. And Apple has its own new operating system for the Vision Pro that it’s calling visionOS. That means Meta and Apple will be competing for developers, who want to get their games and apps to the widest audience possible.

Disney provided some potentially concerning news on that front to Meta on Monday.

After previously touting the promise the metaverse, Disney recently killed its metaverse division under the leadership of Bob Iger, who returned to the company last year.

On Monday, Iger took to the stage at Apple’s WWDC event and said his company’s streaming service would be available for the new headset. While some Disney content is available on Quest devices, Iger suggested that a whole new set of experiences are coming to Apple.

“We’re constantly in search of new ways to entertain, inform and inspire our fans by combining extraordinary creativity with groundbreaking technology to create truly remarkable experiences,” Iger said during the keynote address. “And we believe Apple Vision Pro is a revolutionary platform that can make our vision a reality.”

Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

WATCH: Apple’s VR rollout is a paradigm shift in how consumers do computing

Apple's VR rollout is a paradigm shift in how consumers do computing, says Deepwater's Gene Munster

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Shotgun shell wedding placeholders that are up for sale are shamed on Reddit as ‘tacky’ and ‘trash’

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Fox News Flash top headlines for June 5

A Facebook Marketplace listing that’s advertising shotgun shell placeholders for weddings and similar events has set tongues wagging on social media. 

The screenshotted listing, which shows two red shotgun shells with a bride and groom place card, has caught the attention of the “Wedding Shaming” subreddit, a 535,400-member Reddit forum where anonymous users shame wedding themes, brides, grooms, guests and vendors.

“Nothing says classy like shotgun shells!” A Reddit user captioned their screenshotted post on Sunday, June 4, which has received more than 750 upvotes and a “tacky” label.

WEDDING DRESS INSULT: WOMAN ASKS REDDIT USERS TO WEIGH IN AFTER SHE BLUNTLY CRITIQUED HER FRIEND’S GOWN 

The Facebook Marketplace listing is advertising over 100 shotgun shell placeholders for $100.

“All cement filled for weight to ensure they wouldn’t blow over. Name cards not included in,” the listing explains.

One Reddit user commented on seeing the shotgun shell placeholder listing discussed in a Facebook group — and that the lister is based in New Zealand, so the price is in New Zealand dollars (NZD).

A Facebook Marketplace seller (not pictured) from New Zealand is listing shotgun shell placeholders for sale — which can be used in weddings and similar formal events. (iStock)

“It’s $100NZD, which is like $60USD,” the person wrote. “Not that it makes it any better. I was shocked it was an actual buy/sell group and people were commenting that they were cool.”

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Several Reddit users agreed that they found the seller’s asking price to be steep, since it’s a decor project that can be done relatively cheaply. 

WOMAN ON TIKTOK CALLS OUT WEDDING GUESTS WEARING WHITE TO FRIEND’S WEDDING: ‘RUDE’   

Other members of the “wedding shaming” subreddit questioned the possible message a bride and groom might want to send with shotgun shell placeholder.

“Gives a new meaning depth to a shotgun wedding,” one Reddit user wrote.

“How romantic, giving your guests a bullet with their name on it. Literally,” another user wrote.

Said yet another Reddit user, “So trash. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but guns are horrendous things that ruin people’s lives every day.”

“Why do we get the ugly color?”

This same commenter added, “What’s wrong with having harmless flowers? When did a rose or peony ever commit an atrocity at a school?”

COUPLE SPEAKS OUT AFTER VIDEO GAME-THEMED WEDDING CAKE TOPPER UNEXPECTEDLY GOES VIRAL 

One Reddit user wrote that the placeholders are a “waste [of] reloadable shells” — and questioned why another color wasn’t used for the wrapping of the shotgun shells, such as pink or purple.

Wedding tablescape arranged with white linen, plates, glasses and pink floral centerpieces.

Some wedding hosts add name placeholders to tablescapes when there’s arranged seating for guests — while others skip this entirely for open seating. (iStock)

“Why do we get the ugly color?” the user asked.

Not every Reddit user in the “wedding shaming” forum is against the Facebook Marketplace seller’s shotgun placeholders.

“Is it bad that I kind of love it now?” one user wrote. “It’s tacky as hell but it’s a great joke,” the person added. 

COUPLE SHAMED OVER ‘TACKY’ CAKE, CRITICS SAY THEY’LL GET DIVORCED

“I actually like this for upcycling, and it is one less bullet in the world,” another user wrote.

“I knew someone who did shotgun shells in their wedding that was not cowboy-themed because someone who had passed in the family had actually made their own ammo with those shells and they wanted that member represented in some way,” another user shared. “Actually kind of cool in my opinion.”

Blue shotgun shell placeholder for bride set on a table near bouquet.

Shotgun shell placeholders seem to be a common decor addition in gun-themed weddings. (iStock)

One Reddit user defended people who might find the shotgun shell placeholders appealing for their wedding.

“Oh, come on … Not all of them are bad etc. I honestly think some [people] are just having fun with it ’cause they can,” the user wrote, which earned more than 10 downvotes.  

VIRAL MYTH ABOUT GUESTS WEARING RED TO WEDDINGS CARRIES SCANDALOUS MEANING, BUT IS IT TRUE?

“It all depends where [you’re] at,” the person added. “I’ve been to weddings where most had [guns] or [were] carrying,” the Reddit user continued.

“It was fun and interesting and they were very nice people.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Facebook Marketplace seller for comment.

Man wears shotgun boutonniere in what appears to be a cowboy-themed wedding.

Shotgun shell boutonnieres are another gun-themed decor item that grooms and groomsmen have incorporated in nontraditional weddings. (iStock)

The Facebook Marketplace listing was uploaded on Thursday, June 1, in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, which is an inland city of New Zealand on the east coast of North Island.

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Users of the “wedding shaming” subreddit have generally frowned upon wedding themes that involve guns, including engraved bullet casings, bullet boutonnieres, hunting cake toppers, camouflage attire and wedding portraits with firearm props.

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