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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an event last year. Photo by Bloomberg.

Meta's Bleak Q1; Spotify's Netflix Moment

Photo: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during an event last year. Photo by Bloomberg.

Score one for Meta Platforms, the company formerly known as Facebook, for accurately predicting how bad its first-quarter performance was going to be. The social media giant this afternoon reported what by any standards were dismal results, with revenue up just 7%. What’s more, Meta projected growth would be even weaker in the second quarter. For a company that increased revenue 20% in the fourth quarter, this is quite a comedown.

Admittedly, things could have been worse. When Meta first flagged the growth slowdown in early February—which it blamed variously on Apple, the economy and (by implication) TikTok—it projected that revenue could rise as little as 3%. Also, Meta’s profit per share didn’t decline as much as analysts expected, which may explain Meta shares rising 19% in after-hours trading. Then again, traders may just be sick of selling tech stocks. Pinterest shares rose 10% in after-hours trading, even though its first-quarter report revealed that North American users continue to flee that company’s social media site as though it’s a Covid-19 superspreader event (more on Pinterest’s results below).

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