Meta, the parent company of Facebook, reported a 3% year-on-year increase in sales for the first quarter of 2023, reversing three quarters of decline and beating Wall Street estimates. The increase was due to stronger user growth, with monthly active users on Meta’s apps rising by 5% from the previous year to more than 3.8 billion and Facebook’s daily active users increasing by 4% to more than 2 billion. However, profit fell by nearly a quarter to $5.7 billion. The price per advertisement, an indicator of the health of Meta’s core digital ad business, declined by 17% from the previous year. Meta has been restructuring, attempting to recover from competition, the pandemic’s effect on advertising revenue, and a multibillion-dollar effort to build the metaverse. The company eliminated 11,000 jobs in November and laid off another 10,000 employees in March.

Meta is expected to grow revenue again in the second quarter and has slightly lowered full-year expense expectations. However, the company cannot afford to sit still in this environment. Like other tech companies, Meta has shifted its focus to artificial intelligence (AI) rather than the metaverse. Zuckerberg said that Meta’s AI work is driving good results across its apps and business, including building AI chat experiences in WhatsApp and Messenger and visual creation tools for posts on Facebook and Instagram and advertisements. The year of efficiency is off to a strong start for Meta, but the company still has a long way to go. The restructuring process is ongoing, and there are uncertainties ahead, including potential regulatory changes and the evolution of the advertising landscape.