Meta stock craters over bleak forecast, metaverse bets

STORY: Investors wiped more than 67 billion dollars off the market value of Facebook's parent company Meta on Wednesday.

Shares in the world's largest social media firm were down 20% in after-hours trading.

The sell-off came after Meta posted another quarter of declining revenues.

It also warned that its overall expenses could rise by as much as 16% next year.

Meta faces a whole host of challenges, including slowing global economic growth, competition from TikTok, and privacy changes from Apple that make it harder to target ads.

A lot of investor concern, however, has been directed at CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pricey and experimental bets on the Metaverse.

Much of the company's increased expenditure is being driven by operating costs at Reality Labs - the unit responsible for bringing the Metaverse to life.

Zuckerberg sought to calm shareholders on a post-earnings conference call, telling them he expects the investments to take about a decade to bear fruit.

In the meantime, he has had to freeze hiring, shutter projects and reorganize teams to trim costs.

Meta’s disappointing earnings came amid a broader sell-off of big tech stocks.