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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Meta Platforms, Alphabet, Snap, Oracle and Global Social Media ETF

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 30, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Meta Platforms META, Alphabet GOOGL, Snap Inc SNAP, Oracle ORCL and Global Social Media ETF SOCL.

TikTok Ban Coming: 3 Stocks That Would Benefit

The Social Media Landscape Is Evolving

The social media landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years with the rapid ascent of the personalized video platform app TikTok. Despite TikTok’s rapid rise, Meta Platforms and Alphabet are still the dominant players. In terms of monthly active users, three Meta platforms make up the top four rankings globally: Facebook (#1), Whatsapp (#3), and Instagram (#4).

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Alphabet holds the second spot with its video platform Youtube and TikTok is ranked #6. Even with the continued dominance of existing players like META and GOOGL, stock performance has been lackluster in recent years. The Global Social Media ETF is the most followed social media ETF (note that it does not include TikTok).

What has Led to the Underperformance of Existing Players?

For one, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is paying less attention to his lucrative social media business and instead investing valuable resources in what he sees as the future – the metaverse. Approximately 20% of Meta’s current investments are aimed at this project. While the bold bet has not panned out for Zuckerberg and Meta yet, he plans to stay the course.

The other major factor leading to the underperformance in domestic social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, and Snap Inc’s Snap Chat platform is TikTok’s success.

Chinese-based ByteDance launched TikTok in the United States in 2016, and since then, the platform has dominated. The app, which allows users to create and modify short-form videos, has caught on, especially with the younger generation. TikTok’s competitors have noticed. To win eyes back, Instagram has launched “Reels” and Youtube has created “Shorts” –aimed at users who prefer short, customizable videos like Tik Tok.

SnapChat, already in the short video space, has suffered the most from TikTok’s rise.

National Security Concerns

Though TikTok is one of the dominant global social media players and shows little signs of slowing growth – other factors may play a significant role in the social media space moving forward. Concerns are growing that ByteDance is collecting unnecessary personal data on its users and possibly supplying it to the Chinese government (the biggest rival of the U.S.).

Former President Donald Trump attempted to ban TikTok in 2020, but ultimately the app was able to remain active. The Biden administration struck down the potential Trump ban on TikTok but ordered a national security investigation.

A Potential Catalyst for Domestic Social Media Platforms

Even with the failed TikTok bans of the past, momentum is growing for a new possible attempted ban. In the past year, FBI director Christopher Wray, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, and Senator Josh Hawley have called for a domestic TikTok ban. Meanwhile, several U.S. colleges have implemented their own bans (via WiFi) amid security concerns.

Tuesday, Josh Hawley announced he would introduce a bill to ban the app. Investors who follow the social media space should keep a close eye on how the efforts to ban the app play out. If the app is ultimately banned, SNAP will benefit the most, along with META and GOOGL. Software giant Oracle, which supports TikTok via its cloud platform, would stand to lose.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Oracle Corporation (ORCL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL): ETF Research Reports

Snap Inc. (SNAP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Meta Platforms, Inc. (META) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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