Shares of Facebook’s parent company Meta plunged more than 20% on Wednesday after the company reported lower-than-expected earnings in its latest quarterly report, Reuters reported.

The company said that Facebook’s global daily active users had declined for the first time from 1.930 billion to 1.929 billion in the last quarter.

Meta, which also owns Instagram, blamed Apple Inc’s privacy features and an increase in competition from rivals like short-video platform TikTok for the loss, according to Reuters.

Last year, Apple had tweaked its privacy policy by giving more control to users for determining whether or not applications and websites could track their data.

Meta said that this move made it harder for brands to target and measure their ads on Facebook and Instagram. The company also blamed macroeconomic challenges like cost inflation and supply chain disruptions for the drop in daily active users.

Meta founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said he was encouraged by the progress the company had made in the past year in areas like reels, commerce and virtual reality.

“We will continue to invest in these and other key priorities in 2022 as we work towards building the metaverse,” Zuckerberg said.

In October, Facebook had changed its corporate name to Meta – a reference to the metaverse. The metaverse is a shared virtual environment that can be accessed by people using different devices.

Flynn Zaiger, chief of social media agency Online Optimism, said that Meta’s investors were realising that buying its stock was no longer an investment into the company’s ad platform, according to Reuters.

“Investing in Meta now looks more like a commitment that you believe that the metaverse will replace much of the internet consumers’ experience today,” Zaiger said.