As Meta Platforms Inc. pursues an expensive, unproven metaverse strategy, success will depend in part on whether Instagram can pay the bills.
Instagram is a major growth driver for the company, with 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, closing in on the 2.96 billion who use Meta’s Facebook. Meta’s stock is down more than 70% this year, with investors unsure about two major bets. There’s the long-term investment in the metaverse, creating hardware and software for a virtual reality-fueled future internet. And in the near-term, there’s the initiative for improving the company’s social media recommendation algorithm, to better highlight content from people you don’t know— especially in Reels, the video format taking over Instagram.