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4 Reasons Meta Platforms Is Poised to Grow in 2022

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB) is hiring lots of new engineers to work on machine learning, virtual reality, and augmented reality as it expands its focus to the metaverse. In this Backstage Pass segment from "The AI/ML Show" recorded on Jan. 5, Motley Fool contributors Jose Najarro, Toby Bordelon, and Danny Vena discuss how Meta is setting itself up to succeed in a new field.

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Jose Najarro: Now, I want to talk a little bit more about the future growth of Meta Platforms and Facebook. First, I just want to say one thing. I've been looking on LinkedIn and all these career employment applications, and Facebook or Meta Platforms, is hiring a strong amount of engineers. These engineers are in all types of fields. The ones I'm seeing are mainly focusing in two main markets, and that's artificial intelligence. Then within the virtual reality and augmented reality market, that's three markets. I'm considering virtual reality and augmented as one.

But here you can see that's where they're acquiring a lot of talent. I think talent is really what can drive new technology into companies. You can have the greatest idea, but if you don't have the talent to be able to make it, then you're just going to make a weak product. I think Facebook right now will be able to acquire strong talent. This kind of metaverse or these artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, metaverse, many people just see it in gaming. But like I mentioned, they are focusing a lot in the video streaming platform. They are also creating a lot of online experiences in the metaverse and in the social platform as well. I think many people believe that metaverse will be something outside of the advertising market. But when we see companies like Roblox, that a lot of companies are advertising within Roblox's metaverse, I think Facebook's metaverse will also be another asset for them to advertise even more.

Future growth, over the holidays, I was just searching around Twitter, taking a quick look at Oculus, and the few things that I saw were people using Oculus to play sports. I actually saw someone on Twitter, there was a baseball game, and he was in I believe a high school or college baseball team, but he couldn't go practice outside. So he was just practicing with his virtual reality headsets. People were golfing together in this meta platform. I'm seeing a huge growth in their VR headsets this quarter and I'm super excited to see what they announced in quarter 4.

Some other things I want to mention is this is a company that's innovating pretty strongly. For example, here I have an image of a glove, these are haptic gloves that they're developing. This will work pretty well with their glasses or their Oculus headsets. These would give you a feedback. Let's say you're in the virtual world metaverse, you're trying to pick something up, they would give you a feedback or a sensor feedback of what you're touching, what you're feeling. I believe this is going to create a stronger immersion into this metaverse.

They also focus in a lot of artificial intelligence and machine learning. There's this picture of this cap right here. This was drawn by I believe a four-year-old girl. Then if you're a parent, you can submit this into one of their applications. Then Facebook gives you that drawing in a digital form, and it can do dances, so now your child or whoever drew it is happy to draw more and see more of Facebook's application.

Facebook, many people see it, like I said, as just a social platform but they have a lot of engineers focusing on lot in machine learning, in virtual reality, and augmented reality. Here is an image of a family having an online party with most likely their portal. You can see a lot of them putting birthday hats on and balloons all over. You can see engineering is definitely super strong in Meta Platforms, and that's what I enjoy to see. For me, one of my favorite picks is definitely Meta Platforms for the growth in this market.

Toby Bordelon: Thanks, Jose. I think it's definitely a great company if we consider. I think one of the, maybe dangerous is a wrong word, but I think somethings are traps sometimes people fall into when we think about a new field like the metaverse or AI or VR, you look for the next new young company, right? The hot start-up that's going to revolutionize everything. Sometimes you overlook a company like Meta that is doing good work there, and a similar company of design like let say Microsoft, that is doing fantastic work in that field. But you think, they've been around for so long, they do other things, but they have so many resources they can throw at this and they are very innovative. They do have a track record. I don't want people to overlook some companies, yes, its a new field, yes, it's an exciting field. But sometimes the older companies might be the best ones to lead us into that new field. Definitely something to think about. Any thoughts, Danny?

Danny Vena: I was just going to say I'm glad you said that because a great example that I can think of is Google. Alphabet has this Google search engine that generates tons of advertising revenue. They developed their X Labs and their moonshot projects and ended up with Waymo, the self-driving car company. By many accounts, that is considered to be one of the leaders in autonomous driving and could eventually end up being a very large cash-producing business, spun out of a company that specializes in search.

Toby Bordelon: Yeah. I think that's a good point too. Then it reminds me of something I read today, different field, we're talking automotive industry. GM announced their electric truck, I was reading an article about this. They were talking about how there's more room in the cab, because one thing they did with this, they redesigned it from the ground up and they are using the battery pack as part of the structural frame of the truck. When you hear that, you immediately think of Tesla, who've had an Investor Day, I think last year, showing off their new structural battery pack and how often that was very exciting. I think these are different things, of course, but it strikes me that often times, we just focus so much on the new hot company and somehow get in our heads idea that the old companies just don't have innovative engineers, which is not the case.

There are innovative people in every company, there are innovators in Facebook, in Google, in Microsoft that are probably doing some great work, are doing great work in this field, and we shouldn't overlook that. We do want to keep an eye on some of these new companies, one we'll talk about in a little bit. But don't assume that just because we have a new field here in the industry that it has to be a new companies take advantage of it. It could be totally overwhelmed by old companies who have all these resources to take advantage of this. A lot of opportunity here, a lot of opportunity for a lot of companies.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns Alphabet (A shares), Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, and Tesla. Jose Najarro owns Alphabet (C shares), Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Roblox Corporation, and Tesla. Toby Bordelon owns Alphabet (A shares) and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Meta Platforms, Inc., Microsoft, Roblox Corporation, Tesla, and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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