Facebook is gearing up for a paradigm shift. According to the Wall Street Journal, Meta Platforms (META), formerly known as Facebook, has decided to move its resources from its news and newsletter platform, Bulletin, with the aim of focusing on the “creator economy.”
Facebook News was launched in 2019. As a part of a three-year deal, Facebook agreed to pay various news publishers for their content without a paywall. The deal, which is about to expire, has not seen any signs of renewal interest from Facebook.
The Bulletin was initiated in June 2021 as a subscription service to feature independent writers.
According to the report, Meta’s senior executive, Campbell Brown, told her team that Meta plans to redirect its engineering and product support from the aforementioned products to build a “more robust Creator economy.”
Calling the news platform a “labor of love”, Brown thanked the team employees for “the incredible, impactful, and challenging work this Partnerships team has done to build out these experiences over the last several years.”
The report further stated that the shift was part of an overall strategic decision to put increased focus on the metaverse, short-duration video content, and to compete with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.
As per the report, the decision has taken place at the product level and not as a partnership decision.
Wall Street’s Take on Meta
Ahead of Meta’s scheduled Q2 earnings, which will be released next week on July 27, a number of Wall Street analysts have slashed their price targets.
Jefferies analyst Brent Thill decreased the price target on META to $275 (56.45% upside potential) from $310 while reiterating a Buy rating. The cut was based on expectations of a “first ever y/y rev decline in Q2 and guidance of mid-single-digit rev growth in Q3.”
Another analyst, Stephen Ju from Credit Suisse, lowered the price target to $245 (39.38% upside potential) from $273, at the same time lowering his earnings per share (EPS) estimates for 2022-2023.
However, he added, “Street models are too conservative and underestimate the long-term monetization potential of other billion-user properties like Messenger and WhatsApp, optionality for faster FCF growth on greater efficiency on content screening/security costs.”
The Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 29 Buys, seven Holds and two Sells. The average Meta price target of $263.56 implies 49.94% upside potential to current levels.
Bloggers Weigh In on Meta
TipRanks data shows that financial blogger opinions are 89% Bullish on META stock, compared to a sector average of 65%.
After creating a huge uproar in the news world for a long time now, it has been known that Facebook is evaluating whether or not to renew deals worth millions of dollars annually, with news publishers to feature their content on its news tab.
Perhaps, the world will get a better picture on the earnings announcement coming up next week.