Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg just raised a giant middle finger to Wall Street. The company says its metaverse business will lose even more money next year.

Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg just raised a giant middle finger to Wall Street. The company says its metaverse business will lose even more money next year.
Mark Zuckerberg showed full avatar at Meta connect eventFacebook
  • Facebook warned that its Reality Labs metaverse business will lose even more money in 2023.
  • This year, the company is on track to burn through more than $10 billion on this endeavor.

Facebook is not backing away from spending big on building the metaverse, even as Wall Street begs it to cut costs.

In releasing Wednesday its third-quarter results, the company disclosed it has lost more than $9 billion so far this year on Reality Labs, the segment of Facebook that handles everything metaverse, including nearly $4 billion in the third quarter alone. The segment lost $10 billion over the whole of 2021, and the company said spending costs for Reality Labs are only going to keep growing.

"We do anticipate that Reality Labs losses in 2023 will grow significantly year-over-year," the company said.

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Sometime after 2023, Facebook, which last year changed it's name to Meta, said it will begin to "pace" its investment in Reality Labs, in order to "achieve our goal of growing overall company operating income in the long run."

During a conference call with analysts, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said spending on Reality Labs will increase in 2023 due to the launch of a new virtual reality headset and paying salaries to engineers and others working on the metaverse.


Shares of Facebook fell 18% in after hours trading to the lowest level since 2016.

The commitment to spend so much on the metaverse comes a few days after Altimeter Capital, a major Facebook investor, wrote an open letter to the company titled "Time to Get Fit" asking that it reel in expenses. He specifically asked Facebook to limit metaverse spending to $5 billion a year.

In the days before Altimeter's public request, Wall Street analysts took issue with the seemingly slow rate of development around the metaverse and Facebook's core product, Horizon World. A main part of the immersive digital world Zuckerberg is attempting to build out is avatars. So far, they still appear rudimentary and do not do much of what Facebook showed off in its recent developer conference.

"Captain Zuckerberg continues to steer the Meta ship towards an unknown path called the Metaverse and is determined to splurge billions and billions of dollars in an endeavor to reinvent itself," Neil Campling, head of TMT research at Mirabaud, said.

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