The stock market's downfall this year has impacted the personal net worth of many tech billionaires. None, however, were hit as hard as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Down the Stock Market Drain
Zuckerberg has watched his net worth tank by an estimated $71 billion this year. His Forbes ranking on the billionaires' list has plummeted from no. 2 all the way down to no. 22. The drop is a direct result of the fall of Meta's stock, which contains the bulk of Zuck's fortune.
The market's tumble has sliced several other tech billionaires' fortunes by nearly a quarter, but none have seen a dramatic wipeout on the scale of Zuckerberg's.
Since the rebranding of Facebook last year, its stock has lost around 60% of its value. This drop in value has also caused Zuck's net worth to take a hit.
Swiper, No Swiping
Meta relies on selling large amounts of advertising that is specific to its users. Tracking has become more difficult for advertisers thanks to the iOS 14 updates last year. Because of this, Meta has lost a lot of its earning power.
Meta and Snap rely mostly on iOS users for data tracking. Google parent company Alphabet has been insulated against the drop in earnings because they do not rely on iOS changes. People are starting to care more about their privacy and are doing their best to block social media accounts like Facebook from tracking their data.
Virtual Reality Ain't Cheap
Despite seeing their first-ever dip in the number of users on their platform, Meta has increased its spending by around $10 billion annually to construct the virtual reality Metaverse. Investors are concerned about such a large increase in spending over such a short period of time with no guarantee of a payoff.
While the point of being an investor is that there is no instant gratification financially, investors have been historically impatient when it comes to wanting to see a return on their investment.
Zuck Shakes It Off
Zuckerberg had this to say about the changes in Meta and its murky-looking financial future, “You know the next vision for the broader internet could potentially get there, you just don't know how long it takes and what exactly Meta's role will be … all you know right now is, essentially, it's going to cost a lot of money.”
The dramatic decrease in his net worth does not seem to have affected Zuckerberg's optimism. In an interview with popular podcaster Joe Rogan, Zuckerberg doubled down on his belief that the Metaverse is an opportunity for people to have a healthier relationship with technology.
Speaking with Rogan, Zuckerberg admitted, “I don't necessarily want people to spend more time with computers, I just want the time that people spend with screens to be better.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.