California: Mark Zuckerberg was all-in on the metaverse last year, willing to spend whatever it took to dominate virtual reality.
And it cost him, big time. At one point his wealth fell more than $100 billion from its high - a stunning decline for the millennial who just a few years ago was the world’s third-richest person.
So far this year, his focus has been on the physical world - first cost-cutting at his Meta Platforms and now working on a real-life competitor to Elon Musk’s Twitter.
The results appear to be paying off. Zuckerberg’s fortune, which is comprised largely of his Meta stake, has grown by about $44 billion this year, the most of anyone tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Even with Meta shares closing down slightly Friday in New York, Zuckerberg’s efficiency pivot has made the stock the second-best performer this year on the S&P 500, soaring more than 100 per cent and pushing his net worth to $89.9 billion.
On Friday, Bloomberg News reported that Meta’s Instagram platform is planning to launch a competitor to Twitter as early as next month. The text-based app is currently being tested with celebrities and influencers, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Meta has a better chance to take share from Twitter than smaller peers, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Mandeep Singh and Damian Reimertz said.
“Meta could be challenged to bring Twitter users to its platform,” they said in a note, yet it “may be a threat to Twitter, whose engagement has likely been hurt by charging its heavy users a monthly subscription fee.”
Meta’s revenue outlook is also brightening, Loop Capital Markets analysts Rob Sanderson and Alan Gould wrote in a May 15 note. The analysts have a target of $320 a share, compared with Friday’s closing price of $245.64.
“We think Meta’s product story is as good as it’s been in some time,” they said.