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New META Board members, Mark in India, Updated Ad Metrics

Board member strategy and TEMU update

Ahoy Metamates! 🚢 🏴‍☠️

🆕 The TLDR This Week

  • Meta deletes Iran’s Leader’s Facebook, drama ensues

  • Rise of Reels use in India leads to new datacenter - here

  • What it’s like to give Mark feedback - Boz on Lenny’s podcast

Before we get to the serious stuff today, can we just take a moment to appreciate Mark’s drip this last week.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen Mark in Alexander McQueen

The highlight of the Ambani wedding for Mark was not Rhianna but the groom’s $1M watch - which, dare I say, is ridiculously ugly.

$1M for this?

Side note: We’ve had a lot of … interesting? Mark lore in the last year. Gone are the days where he was content grilling in his back yard. In the last year, we’ve heard he’s building a bunker in Hawaii, MMA fighting, feeding maple syrup to cows, getting involved in Harvard elections and now apparently casually chilling at a billionaire’s wedding. tbh, starting to sound a lot like Bezos right before he “retired”. We’re just missing a helicopter and a midlife crisis girlfriend.

Meta’s New Board Members = Big Hardware Bet

Hock Tan is not who you’d imagine on the board of Meta. He’s 71, super republican and, unlike most tech CEOs, he likes to hobnob at elite galas where bored billionaires go to support their wife’s latest nonprofit pet project. He walks and talks like “old money” - and he has a reputation for being frugal and conservative.

So- why did Meta choose him?

  • Broadcom is one of Meta’s key long term partners in both chips and data center design

  • $500M spent just last year

  • Points to Meta doubling down on building its own hardware

With rising costs of compute and Llama3 coming next quarter, Meta’s key advantage in this market will be owning its own tech to reduce costs over time. Looking at last year, this feels like a non brainer:

Projects to watch:MTIA (Meta Training and Inference Accelerator)

What Hock Tan is to chips, John Arnold is to energy.

Let’s not forget he worked at Enron

You have probably never heard about John Arnold- unless you’re super into oil. John’s known for being one of the most successful employees at Enron ( yes, the sane Enron) where he traded oil and natural gas derivatives. He was the highest paid trader, making up to $750M/ year in trading revenue and receiving Enron’s largest employee bonus ever -$8M.

But, of course, Meta conveniently omitted that part of his resume.

John today is known as the Master of Energy. He runs a hedge fund focused on deep sea oil and solar in LATAM and runs a grid project working modernizing electricity production in the US.

TLDR: The message from Meta is clear- it’s entire AI effort success will deeply depend on its ability to build and own its own hardware to run compute cheaper than any other competitor.

Here’s the latest from PCP Research on where Meta’s investments in hardware are tranding:

Should we expect a TEMU cooldown?

I wrote about TEMU ( and Chinese sellers in general) increased spend on Meta ads - and I’ve been tracking it since then. At one point or another, the music will stop. My prediction: it will be sudden.

Refresher: TEMU and Shein own Meta ads rn.

Yeah, not looking hot

So far, we saw a meaningful ad buy slowdown in the fall from Chinese sellers. Even the holidays did not bump up as expected.

Not fair to say it’s fully trending down… but it’s also not great.

A little easier to see it lumped by quarter:

Ok yeah, it’s going down.


1) Reels growth has been choppy and it has not yet solidly surpassed Stories

2) Tiktok Shop is more similar to Taobao and monetizes deeper ( wrote about it here)

3) Closing Shops in Favor of Business Messaging is a long bet that’s still in early maturity stages. WhatsApp MAU is maintaining but not growing fast.

TLDR: I suspect in the near term Chinese retailers will move ads to TikTok.

Institutional Market Update

I thought it’d be fun to see how ownership of META has shifted after the dividend announcement - and how it differs from peer tech co’s.

We’re now seeing more long term holding institutionals

Source: LSEG Mar 10, 23

Style breakdown overall between all stock holding institutionals:

  • 681 holding for growth strategies

  • 440 holding for value strategies

  • 408 hedge funds

  • 329 GARP

TLDR: Dividend strategy reeled in more long term focused conservative investors than before, especially in Europe.

Fun fact: Public filings show Sheryl owns more Meta shares than Mark.

With 10b5-1 sales amongst Meta execs resumed, the insider cap table might surprise you.

LSEG, Mar 10

Lastly - let’s look at how the biggest institutional holders of Meta allocate between peer companies in tech:

LSEG, Mar 10

👍That’s it for this week’s free issue.

Next week, paid subscribers will get a deep dive report!

Also, completely unrelated- I’ve just now discovered raccoon memes ( yes I know I’m like 10 years late.) So I leave you with this to start your week:

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