Meta stock perks up as the company promises a ‘year of efficiency’

Meta is all-in on becoming a lean, mean, cash-printing machine.

In its Q4 earnings call on Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg described the company’s near future priorities and plans, painting a picture of a tech giant that’s driving toward leaning down and speeding up.

The company beat revenue expectations in the final quarter of 2022, bringing in $32.2 billion. Facebook’s user numbers also managed to inch up in the last quarter with the platform hitting 1.98 billion daily active users and 2.96 billion monthly active users as of September 2022.

Those gains combined with Meta’s aggressive cuts and its promise of an efficient 2023 drove stock prices up around 15% in trading after-hours. Meta took a notable beating in 2022’s market turndown, losing as much as 60% of its value over the course of the year.

“We’re going to be more proactive about cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be as crucial,” Zuckerberg said in the earnings call. “But my main focus is on increasing the efficiency of how we execute our top priorities.”

Meta has also downsized its staff by a hefty 13%, though this most recent quarter doesn’t factor in those 11,000 jobs that the company cut in November.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization,” Zuckerberg said.

In the call, Meta’s chief executive called out Instagram Reels and the company’s algorithmic recommendation engine as two major areas of focus in the coming months. On the whole, Zuckerberg dramatically deemphasized the metaverse — the concept the company rebranded around in 2021 — in favor of playing up Meta’s trendier AI work.

“Facebook and Instagram are shifting from being organized solely around people and accounts you follow to increasingly showing more relevant content recommended by our AI systems,” Zuckerberg said. “And this covers every content format, which is something that makes our services unique, but we’re especially focused on short form video since Reels is growing so quickly.”