In the biggest one-day drop in stock market history, Facebook shares fell 26%, causing Zuckerberg to warn his employees he might cry during an urgent meeting.
Facebook's dropping stock price weighed on world markets dragging down significant stock indexes. Facebook CEO organized a meeting the same day where he appeared red-eyed.
Losing $237 billion - the biggest single-day loss ever recorded.
Shares in Facebook owner Meta dropped 26 percent on February 3. Zuckerberg lost his place among Forbes' top ten wealthiest people, falling from seventh to twelfth place.
Facebook's stock closed at $237.76 per share and puled the Nasdaq down by 3.74 percent.
Zuckerberg held a meeting, where he told his employees that the competition reached "'unprecedented level." The primary competitor is TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
Zuckerberg, 37, wore glasses and appeared distressed, even claiming he was on the verge of crying, a source who was at the meeting told AdAge.
Inside the Facebook meeting
Zuckerberg told his employees he is considering long weekends but is still undecided as four day work week does not appear productive.
He urged employees to use their vacation days. Another person who knows the company's plans told AdAge that employee shares vest on February 15, meaning that employees can earn shares of the company if they stay through that date.
Conversations about raises and bonuses could happen in March, potentially factoring into employees' decisions to leave.
The company's overall value, known as its market capitalization, fell by $230 billion. Meta reported a decline in daily active users from the previous quarter for the first time.
The platform's daily users loss was greatest in Africa and Latin America. This indicates the product is globally saturated.
Twitter, Pinterest, and Spotify also suffered losses. Spotify is currently in hot waters over Joe Rogan's podcast and Covid-19 vaccination stance, which caused many artists to drop the platform.
Was metaverse too ambitious?
Meta invested more than $10 billion in its Reality Labs segment.
The investment includes its virtual reality headsets and augmented reality technology. In last year it contributed to the quarter's profit decline.
Meta's expansion of the workforce by 23 percent had the company see the year ending with 71,970 employees, mostly in technical roles. However, Raj Shah, an analyst for Publicis Sapient, said:
"It is time for a reality check on Meta's position for the metaverse. The metaverse is a long way from being profitable or filling the gap in ad revenue after Apple's policy change."
Apple's privacy changes make it harder for companies like Meta to track people for advertising purposes. There is also a trend among users showing that people are more into watching videos, as seen on TikTok or Instagram Reels.
This behavior change appears to be overlooked by Zuckerberg. His vision was that the metaverse would be the next generation of the internet because he thinks it would be a big part of the digital economy.
Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with Insider Intelligence, said:
"There's a lot of uncertainty about Meta's investments in the metaverse and if or when they will have a positive impact on the company's bottom line. While we expect Meta to ramp up testing ads and commerce within its metaverse offerings this year, those efforts will be highly experimental and not likely to drive much revenue in the near term."
Meta and younger people
Meta also faces scrutiny over the effect it leaves on young people. Instagram primarily makes young women feel worse about their bodies if they already have insecurities. Other similar instances were seen in last year's Facebook Files.
Another presentation found that among teens who felt suicidal, 13 percent of British users and 6 percent of American users traced their suicidal feelings to Instagram.
Instagram can harm a person's body image, especially if the person is young. The research reaffirms what has been publicly recognized for years. It also confirms that Facebook management knew as much and actively researched it.