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Meta Platforms Inc Investor Relations Material

Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc., is the world’s leading social media group, and one of the largest digital advertising companies in the world. As the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Meta have roughly 3 billion daily active users across its Family of Apps operating segment. The second segment, Reality Labs, aims at building out the next big computing platforms envisioned by and named by Mark Zuckerberg as The Metaverse. This venture into augmented reality and virtual reality started with the acquisition of Oculus back in 2014. Other known subsidiaries are Giphy, Mapillary, Kustomer and a stake in Indian Reliance subsidiary Jio Platforms.

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Dorm room dreams

Facebook, formerly known as FaceMash and later TheFacebook, was founded by and launched from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room back in 2003. It was first introduced to the world as a kind of “hot or not” platform for rating college girls’ face, and limited to Ivy League college email addresses, but soon exploded into a global connectivity revolution. Two years after launch Facebook hade 6 million users, and a year after that Mark Zuckerberg, Palantir founder Peter Thiel and the rest of the board decided to decline a one billion dollar takeover bid from Yahoo!. In fact, their internal valuation of the company was apparently closer to 8 billion, projecting one billion in revenue by 2015 – they reported closer to 6 billion, with a 44% operating margin. If you want to know more about the origins of Facebook haven’t seen The Social Network (written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher), it’s worth 120 minutes of your time.

Greatest acquisitions of all time?

Six days after its first Android release, where the app got over one million downloads during the first day, Instagram got acquired by Facebook. The deal was closed just shortly before Facebook’s own IPO, and at the time considered very expensive – almost indefensible – as the price tag reached one billion dollars. Kind of ironically, this was the same price as Yahoo! offered Facebook itself back in 2006. At this time, Instagram had approximately 30-50 million users, and apparently surpassed the 2 billion mark in December 2021. Since Facebook isn’t disclosing Instagram’s financial figures we can’t know for sure, but experts suggest it reached somewhere around 25 billion dollars of revenue in 2020. If that estimate is remotely close to the truth, Instagram has got to be one of the best acquisitions of all time.

What is the Metaverse?

Much like with the Internet back in the 1970’s, it is hard to fully grasp what the so called Metaverse will look like in its fully adopted form, but thought leading CEOs like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg or Microsoft’s Satya Nadella explains it as a paradigm shift in digital connectivity. The idea is to go from 2D communication, like hopping on a Zoom call with your out-of-town colleague, to 3D interaction using technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and different types of sensors to trace your physical movements. If you have read, or seen the movie adoption of, Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, you have a rough idea of how it might look in parts of the Metaverse.

Let’s take a look at an imaginary example: You want to learn how to play the guitar. Now imagine that you could lend a free trial guitar that looks exactly like you want from a virtual Metaverse music instrument’s shop, which also includes one hour of teaching from a digital AI avatar called Slash_GnR66. You could start learning instantly straight from the comfort of your own living room, using your virtual reality headset.

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