Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has reported a profit of $5.7bn (£4.6bn) for the first quarter of this year, exceeding expectations for a period in which many jobs were lost. The company cited artificial intelligence (AI) as “getting good results” across its business (BBC News).
‘We are no longer behind in building AI’
CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors that Meta sees “an opportunity to introduce AI agents to billions of people in ways that will be useful and meaningful.” Meta was “exploring chat experiences on WhatsApp and Messenger, visual authoring tools for Facebook and Instagram posts and ads, and over time also multimodal and video experiences.” (BBC News)
While the company established Facebook’s artificial intelligence research lab in 2013, it has yet to make large strides in this area, as other big tech companies have done. However, Zuckerberg insisted that Meta was “no longer behind schedule in building out our AI infrastructure” and said Meta’s generative AI products, which can instantly create sentences and graphics, will be released in the coming months. (BBC News)
Not at the expense of meta-universe
Zuckerberg added that the move would not be at the expense of the metaverse, Meta’s virtual reality project. The company’s Reality Labs division had reported a net loss of $4 billion last quarter, and the company said it expected “operating losses to increase year-over-year in 2023.” However, Zuckerberg said that the “narrative that has been developed that Meta is moving away from the metaverse” was not “accurate,” adding that he still planned to reveal the next Quest VR headset later this year. (BBC News)
Positive financial figures during job cuts and project trimming
The positive financial figures coincide with a period in which Meta has cut jobs and projects, with a goal to make 2023 “an efficiency year.” Meta has been the most aggressive big US tech company when it comes to downsizing, cutting nearly a quarter of its global workforce, more than 20,000 jobs, in just a few months.
“The year of efficiency is off to a stronger than expected start for Meta,” said Insider Intelligence principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. (BBC News)
The improved macroeconomic backdrop helps Meta recover well
Ben Barringer, of investment management firm Quilter Cheviot, said: “Hats are off to Mark Zuckerberg and Meta given the transformation of the business in the last six months. The ‘year of efficiency’ that Zuckerberg likes to talk about is paying off. These results are well above expectations and given the improved macroeconomic backdrop, Meta should continue to recover well.” (BBC News)
As per information from the source, Meta is looking forward to introducing AI agents to billions of people in ways that will be useful and meaningful. The company has reported a profit of $5.7bn (£4.6bn) for the first quarter of this year, a period in which many jobs were lost. Despite job cuts, the positive financial figures coincide with this year being “an efficiency year” for Meta. The company’s generative AI products that can create sentences and graphics instantly are expected to be released soon. The company also plans to release its next Quest VR headset later this year, denying the narrative that Meta is moving away from the metaverse (BBC News).