More than $65bn has been wiped off the market value of Facebook and Instagram’s owner, Meta, after it reported profits had halved during the third quarter of the year as advertisers rein in spending amid the global economic downturn.

The 19% tumble in Meta’s share price during after-hours trading knocked a further $10bn off the personal wealth of the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook while he was at university.

Zuckerberg, who is Meta’s largest shareholder and who has most of his fortune in the company’s shares, had already seen his net worth plummet by at least $70bn by September this year.

Meta, which owns Facebook and WhatsApp, reported $27.7bn in revenue for the third quarter – higher than analysts’ forecasts – as sales shrank by 4% compared with the same period a year earlier.

It came as the company, which has poured investment into its virtual reality project, the metaverse, warned of weaker trading ahead.


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