Meta’s Messenger App Rolls Out New Features

Messenger, one of the several social media apps operated by Meta Platforms (FB), has launched a number of new features, including Split Payments, which lets users share the cost of bills and expenses. Meta stock jumped 5.37% on Wednesday to close at $232.

Split Payments is rolling out in the U.S. to people accessing the app on devices running Apple’s (AAPL) iOS or Google’s (GOOGL) Android operating systems. The Split Payments feature allows users to share costs evenly among members of a group or request a custom amount for each member. 

Additional Features

The app has also rolled out additional audio features. It now allows users to make voice message recordings of up to 30 minutes long. Previously, recordings were limited to one minute, and users can now pause, preview, or continue recording audio messages before sending.

Messenger has also introduced a feature allowing users to send messages that disappear once seen. The feature, called Vanish Mode, supports sending disappearing texts, memes, GIFs, and other message types.

Building the Metaverse 

In addition to Messenger, Meta’s other social apps are Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It also owns Oculus, a maker of virtual reality systems. Meta is now focused on building the metaverse, making it one of the most prominent metaverse stocks, according to TipRanks. 

Analysts’ Take

China Renaissance analyst Ella Ji recently downgraded Meta Platforms to a Hold from a Buy. The analyst also lowered her price target to $280 from $415. Ji’s reduced price target suggests 20.69% upside potential. The analyst sees Apple’s iOS privacy changes as a setback for Facebook. Another cause for concern, according to Ji, is the growing competition from TikTok.

Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 32 Buys, 11 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Meta Platforms price target of $332.14 implies 43.16% upside potential to current levels.

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