Why WhatsApp Can Surpass Amazon in 10 yrs

Mark is obsessed with Telegram but he should be looking at Taobao.

Ahoy Metamates! 🚢 🏴‍☠️

And welcome to this weeks’ issue of That’s So Meta. This newsletter looks at hard data, Wall Street analyst opinions, interviews with employees and industry competitive data.

No hype, just facts.

🆕 Interesting tidbits this week:

  • Sandhya Devanathan will lead Meta in India after previous head leaves for SNAP

  • New VPs of Metaverse and Whatsapp appointed this week- both internal hires

  • Meta facing legal inquiries for laying folks off during parent leave

  • Layoffs hit hard but reorgs hit harder as those who are left struggle to find stability internally

Layoffs Spark Mixed Reactions on Wall Street:

Let's look at early opinions published this week:

..a small scale back of spending growth. This could be greater cost discipline or a reaction to a weakening sales trend. We are cautious, retain a NEUTRAL rating, and trim estimates, taking our price target down by $10 to $104.

Rosenblatt. They subsequently priced down the stock

Folks at BofA are a bit more positive but nonetheless kept price projections the same:

Layoffs exceed expectations

Bank of America

Same story at Wolfe Research - price projection stayed flat:

The magnitude of headcount reductions was larger than our prior expectations, and we view this as a positive signal on profitability

- Wolfe Research

TLDR: looking uncertain so far but the major analysts have yet to chime in and the good news is that the stock has maintained relatively well over the week.

Deep Dive: What’s Up with WhatsApp

It’s an open secret at Meta that a new VP is coming to WhatsApp under Will Cathcart but no one knows who it is yet. Announcements and press around the product are also ramping up, seemingly out of the blue, after years of relative obscurity. Mark himself is involved in announcing new features.

This is a major strategic priority for Meta and the expectation is that it will monetize before the metaverse and rival Amazon.

But all this noise has folks more confused than excited. 🤷‍♀️

Because, let’s face it, no one really gets how this $19B acquisition will be Instagram-level profitable. It's not super obvious even to people who work there:

"I know [WA] is very prestigious but I'm really not sure why it's so important" - an eng friend at Meta I chatted with last night to dogfood this post.

Let's look at the data together to find out.

In this week’s deep-dive:

  • Why folks in Brazil flipped out when WhatsApp went down for only 6 hours

  • WhatsApp and Alibaba's weird cousin relationship

  • How WA makes money today

  • Mark & Co are obsessed with Telegram - are they right? Spoiler: no

  • Learning from the best: Taobao product flow w screenshots

  • WA Running a grocery store in India?

  • The People Who Run WhatsApp

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