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Inside META's Digital Empire: What's Sizzling and What's Fizzling?

September 15, 2023

META's Digital Empire: The Hits, The Misses, and The Potential Game-Changers

META is making waves, unveiling a slew of innovations and platforms. From launching Threads, a contender to Twitter's throne, to expanding WhatsApp Channels globally, and prepping for the Quest 3 VR headset release, META is on a relentless pursuit of digital dominance.

With a family of platforms already boasting over 3 billion monthly active users, META's ambitions are clear.

But what's resonating with users, and what's falling flat?

Let's dive into LikeFolio's insights.

Threads: A Fading Echo

Threads burst onto the scene with promise, but the initial fanfare seems to be waning.

A surge in consumer interest at launch quickly plateaued. Despite racking up an impressive 150 million downloads in just its second week, engagement dwindled. By August, daily active users dipped below the 10 million mark.

Adding insult to injury, the advertising world, wary of the fragmented social media landscape, held back their dollars, further stunting Threads' growth.

Instagram & Reels: Dancing to Success

While Threads struggles to find its footing, Reels is grooving to a different beat. This Instagram (and Facebook) feature, designed to rival TikTok, is gaining traction.

Instagram's daily mentions have overtaken Facebook, capturing 30% of the market share, nudging ahead of TikTok's 27%. A mere quarter ago, the tables were turned.

The driving force behind this shift? A superior user experience.

Reels boasts a stellar 75% positive consumer sentiment, with Instagram trailing at 61%. In comparison, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat are locked in a three-way tie at the bottom.

WhatsApp: The Global Messenger

While WhatsApp might not be the talk of the town in the U.S., its global footprint is expanding. The introduction of WhatsApp Channels in Colombia and Singapore, allowing users to tune into updates from celebrities and influencers, has been a hit. META's plan to roll out this feature to 150 more countries signals its commitment to this platform.

And buzz growth is undeniable.

Reality Labs: A Virtual Setback

All isn't rosy in META's garden. Its Reality Labs segment, responsible for the VR headsets, is facing headwinds.

Interest in products like the Oculus has plummeted, with web visits plunging by a staggering 56% YoY.

The upcoming Quest 3, priced just shy of $500 and set for a fall release, is META's wildcard. The holiday season will be the litmus test for its success or failure.

Bottom Line

META's stock enjoyed a boost last quarter, buoyed by a resurgence in advertising and impressive revenue growth. LikeFolio's data underscores the success of Instagram and WhatsApp in terms of consumer satisfaction and engagement. However, Threads' performance is lackluster, and the enthusiasm for VR headsets is on a downward spiral. Our stance? We're on the fence, awaiting consumer feedback on the Quest 3. But the positive undertones from a rejuvenated ad market are increasingly hard to ignore.

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LikeFolio analyzes social media data to accurately predict shifts in consumer behavior. We sell data and insights to professional investors, corporate research teams, and software providers.

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