Meta Reports First Revenue Decline and 36 Percent Profit Drop

SAN FRANCISCO — For years, Facebook’s sales grew without fail and kept on growing, defying the laws of gravity even as the company was battered by scandals over privacy and misinformation.

Not anymore.

On Wednesday, Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, reported a 1 percent decline in quarterly revenue from the previous year. It was the first time the social media giant’s revenue had fallen since it went public a decade ago, as it confronts increased regulatory scrutiny and a turbulent economy while trying to build a new frontier of digital communication.

Meta’s revenue for the second quarter was $28.82 billion, down from $29.07 billion a year earlier. Profit was $6.69 billion, down 36 percent from a year earlier. Wall Street analysts had predicted profits of $7.04 billion on revenue of $28.9 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet.

The results compounded a difficult day for Meta, which was

Instagram, Facing Criticism From Kylie Jenner and Others, Tries Explaining Itself

Instagram versus the Great Celebrity Gang-Up?

The photo-sharing app, which is owned by Meta, found itself under fire this week over how it has changed over time. The pile-on started on Monday, when Kylie Jenner, the beauty mogul with 361 million Instagram followers, shared an image on the site that read: “Make Instagram Instagram again. (stop trying to be tiktok i just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, everyone.”

With a “PLEASEEEEEEE” on her Instagram Story, Ms. Jenner, who has the third most followers on the platform, lit the flame of celebrity criticism.

“PRETTY PLEASE,” Kim Kardashian, Ms. Jenner’s half sister and the seventh most followed Instagram user, echoed in a later Story.

On Tuesday, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, tried to tamp down ire from users over how the app has rolled out features that make it more like TikTok, the hugely popular Chinese-owned video

AI Predicts the Shape of Nearly Every Protein Known to Science

In 2020, an artificial intelligence lab called DeepMind unveiled technology that could predict the shape of proteins — the microscopic mechanisms that drive the behavior of the human body and all other living things.

A year later, the lab shared the tool, called AlphaFold, with scientists and released predicted shapes for more than 350,000 proteins, including all proteins expressed by the human genome. It immediately shifted the course of biological research. If scientists can identify the shapes of proteins, they can accelerate the ability to understand diseases, create new medicines and otherwise probe the mysteries of life on Earth.

Now, DeepMind has released predictions for nearly every protein known to science. On Thursday, the London-based lab, owned by the same parent company as Google, said it had added more than 200 million predictions to an online database freely available to scientists across the globe.

With this new release, the scientists

FTC Chair Lina Khan Upends Antitrust Standards by Suing Meta

WASHINGTON — Early in her tenure as chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan declared that she would rein in the power of the largest technology companies in a dramatically new way.

“We’re trying to be forward looking, anticipating problems and taking fast action,” Ms. Khan said in an interview last month. She promised to focus on “next-generation technologies,” and not just on areas where tech behemoths were already well established.

This week, Ms. Khan took her first step toward stopping the tech monopolies of the future when she sued to block a small acquisition by Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, of the virtual-reality fitness start-up Within. The deal was significant for Meta’s development of the so-called metaverse, which is a nascent technology and far from mainstream.

In doing so, Ms. Khan upended decades of antitrust standards, potentially setting off a wholesale shift in the way Washington

The Default Tech Settings You Should Turn Off Right Away

There’s a catchy saying going around with a valuable lesson about our personal technology: The devil is in the defaults.

The saying refers to the default settings that tech companies embed deep in the devices, apps and websites we use. These settings typically make us share data about our activities and location. We can usually opt out of this data collection, but the companies make the menus and buttons hard to notice, likely in the hope that we don’t immediately tweak them.

Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft generally want us to leave some default settings on, purportedly to train their algorithms and catch bugs, which then make their products easier for us to use. But unnecessary data sharing isn’t always in our best interest.

So with every tech product we use, it’s important to take time to use the many menus, buttons and switches to pare down the