Meta (FB) shares recently plummeted more than 25% following the technology conglomerate's miss on earnings and revenue projections.
However, the biggest reason for investors turning on the stock is likely a result of Facebook’s growth, or lack thereof. For the first time ever Facebook saw a drop in daily active users. Facebook may just now be one member of Meta’s “family of apps” but it’s the largest by far and a lack of growth changes the way traders view Meta’s valuation.
With the company’s increased focus on the metaverse, Meta will have to lead the charge in order to attract investors once more. However, Meta faces stiff competition in the area from a number of big players that likely offer far more “pleasant” metaverses than a platform based around Facebook could provide.
Microsoft (MSFT) offers a unique angle on a potential metaverse with the firm providing the operating system for 73% of computer users worldwide and being a major player in the video game industry. Microsoft’s Xbox platform is used by millions of gamers around the world every day and now allows for computer players to use the software as well with its innovative Xbox/PC Game Pass. The subscription service is quickly becoming the go-to for gamers searching for new games to play on either computer or Xbox consoles.
Video games have been far ahead of the rest when it comes to virtual realities and metaverse-type ecosystems. Microsoft is in a great position to provide a metaverse experience where people can interact online through any number of their platforms. Whether it's simply chatting online or playing games with friends and family, Microsoft is going to be tough to beat for Meta.
While Apple (AAPL) doesn’t have anywhere near the gaming environment that Microsoft or Sony (SONY) provide, it probably offers the single best ecosystem for its users. Apple users who use an iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, and iPod (do those still exist?) get the most benefits of the way Apple products seamlessly talk with each other. Applications such as iMessage are already creating metaverse-lite experiences with add-ons to create the best place for groups to message each other and shun those with green bubbles.
Apple may not have anywhere near the presence that Samsung and other firms have outside of the United States, but its users have access to arguably the single best ecosystem where people can interact with each other in a variety of easy-to-use ways. In terms of being a competitor to Meta, it doesn’t help that Facebook is proving to heavily rely on Apple’s algorithms for its advertising efficiency.
Nvidia (NVDA) might not be the first company most think of when exploring the future of metaverses but the chipmaker is likely going to be the foundation most are built on. Not only does Nvidia produce best-in-class (along with AMD) graphics processing units (GPUs) for computers to actually power virtual reality worlds in video games or other services, it also recently built out its Omniverse platform for connecting 3D worlds into a shared virtual reality. The open platform allows for virtual collaboration in a real-time physically accurate simulation according to Nvidia.
Not only is Nvidia’s hardware going to be instrumental in supporting metaverses but its new software applications will allow developers to work together in creating new virtual realities and supporting the connection between them. While not necessarily a direct competitor to Meta in the same manner as Microsoft or Apple, Nvidia’s technology can be the foundation for various other competitors and even itself if it decides to truly create its own virtual reality for users.
Meta faces tough competition in the metaverse and is going to have a rough path forward as people want to interact in a virtual reality that actually is enjoyable. Arguing over political opinions with your uncle doesn’t sound like the best foundation for building a metaverse. Meanwhile, Meta is going hard into this new market hoping for strong growth as its Facebook platform is now hardly growing at all as it faces competitors in that area from TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Netflix once said its competition was everything else its users do with their time and Meta appears to be in no different a situation. Sadly for Zuckerberg, he better figure out how to get people using Meta services more than ever if he hopes to not lose even more than $29 billion.