Goodbye Metaverse, Hello AGI — Meta Pivots (Again) | by Stephen Moore | Jan, 2024

The pivot to A.I. is not for the benefit of everyone; it’s a stock-juicing manoeuvre

Image: Midjourney, “Mark Zuckerberg AGI”

Last Monday, Meta’s shares hit a new all-time intraday high.

The Friday previous, the company enjoyed its first record-high close since 2021.

The shares are up over 160% YTD and over 300% since November 2022.

It’s been quite the turnaround. The company endured such a torrid 2022 — dropping revenues, whistleblowers, leaked data showing the company knew Instagram negatively affects the mental health of teenagers, the Capital Hill investigation, Apple’s ad-tracking changes, and the disastrous Metaverse venture — that it wiped out the entirety of its pandemic gains. The stock price sank to its lowest since January 2019, when Facebook was dealing with the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica crisis. The stock price even flirted with dropping below $100; it hadn’t been that low since late 2015.

It was bad. It had some people (me included) questioning the company’s future under Zuckerberg’s leadership. But since then, it’s been up, up, and away.

Meta stock

What changed, you ask? Did Meta fix its core products, and regain the social media crown? Not really. Did it innovate new product categories that transformed its fortunes? Come on, let’s not kid ourselves. Did it relaunch the Zuck Buck? No, that ship has sailed. Did the company finally start delivering on its Metaverse gamble — on which Zuckerberg said “people will look back a decade from now and talk about the importance of the work being done here” — that has set fire to tens of billions of dollars to date?

Of course not. It doesn’t even have legs yet.

No, the stock recovered because Meta fired thousands of employees in its “year of efficiency” and once again pivoted to the newest shiny object — A.I.

At first, the company was somewhat in stealth mode, debuting its large language model LLaMA in March with little pre-match…