Meta stock soars to 18-month high ahead of Instagram Threads launch

Innovation

Social media behemoth Meta’s stock reached an 18-month high Wednesday morning as the Facebook and Instagram parent company prepares to launch Instagram Threads, its long-awaited answer to rival Twitter, as competition heats up between billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg amid a turbulent year for Twitter.
Threads logo displayed on a phone screen and Instagram logo displayed on a laptop screen in the background are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on July 4, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Key Facts
Key Takeaways
  • Meta’s stock ticked up nearly 4% Wednesday morning, to $295.29, marking the platform’s highest share price since late January 2022, as its stock continues to rebound following financial woes at Facebook early last year.
  • The uptick comes as Meta readies its launch of Threads, a text-based app linked to popular photo-sharing platform Instagram, which is set to go live at 10 a.m. on July 6.
  • Although details remain scarce on how to use Threads or what the app will feature, screenshots of the Twitter alternative show parallels to Twitter, giving users options including liking, posting, sharing and reposting, and allowing users to keep their Instagram usernames while using it.
Tangent

Instagram Threads marks Meta’s latest response to social media rivals, including video shorts platform TikTok and photo messaging app Snapchat, introducing Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories, respectively. Meta’s response to Twitter, one of its biggest rivals, follows a turbulent year for Musk’s social media platform, as the platform faces criticism for lifting its moderation policy on online speech. Twitter has struggled to hang onto advertisers over concerns that hate speech could proliferate on the platform. And Musk has introduced a series of features hoping to raise revenue and transform the network into a so-called marketplace of ideas.

Key Background

Share prices of Meta have now climbed more than 137% year-to-date following a pair of better-than-expected earnings reports and as Zuckerberg looked to trim costs. The company underwent two major rounds of layoffs this year affecting roughly 10,000 of its 87,000 employees, including 6,000 who were let go in May.

Zuckerberg attributed the measure to “macroeconomic downturn” when the social media giant cut another 4,000 employees in April. Meta also reported it had made $28.6 billion in quarterly revenue in a first-quarter earnings report in April, outpacing analyst estimates of $27.7 billion and sending its stock to a 15-month high, just two months after Meta notched its best day at the stock market in nearly 10 years February, when Meta unveiled a $40 billion stock buyback.

Before the start of the year, Meta’s stock had taken a nearly 12-month slide, plunging more than 20% in February 2022, as the company reported Facebook worldwide active daily users declined for the first time ever, as competition mounted from rivals Twitter and TikTok.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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