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Meta Platforms (META)

While TikTok seems to be capturing widespread public attention, investors might not want to ignore Meta (META) — as the company remains a behemoth in the social media industry.

In particular, the broad reach of Meta's family of services — including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, among others — amassed a whopping 3.96 billion monthly active users as of the end of Q3, marking 7% growth year over year. This figure represents roughly of the global population.

The company is also pushing Reels, its short video product on Instagram, as a strategic response to the popularity of TikTok.

The move is showing signs of success.

In the latest earnings conference call, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We estimate that with all the ranking and product improvements that we've made, Reels has driven more than 40% increase in time spent on Instagram since launch.”

Meta stock has also shown remarkable growth, soaring 167% year to date. JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth sees further upside on the horizon. The analyst has an "overweight" rating on Meta and a price target of $400 — roughly 23% above the current levels.

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Alphabet (GOOGL)

As the parent company of Google, Alphabet (GOOGL) now commands a market cap of nearly $1.7 trillion.

The company’s influence extends far beyond its role as a search engine giant.

For instance, Alphabet owns YouTube, one of the largest video-sharing platforms in the world. YouTube ventured into the short-form video market with the introduction of YouTube Shorts in the U.S. in 2021, thereby positioning itself as a competitor to TikTok and challenging its dominance in this fast-growing segment.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in October that he’s “really pleased with the growth and engagement” on YouTube Shorts.

“Shorts now average over 70 billion daily views and are watched by over 2 billion signed-in users every month,” he said.

Alphabet shares have climbed 48% so far in 2023. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak has an “overweight” rating on the company with a price target of $150, implying a potential upside of 13%.

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Jing Pan Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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