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Comparing the R&D Expenses of Google and Meta

The chart above compares the research and development expenses of Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google from 2015 to 2022. Both the companies have sharply increased their R&D spending in 2022. Google increased its R&D spending by 25% in 2022 compared to the prior year, while Meta spent 43% higher on R&D during the same period. In 2022, the search giant spent $39.5 billion on research and development and the social media giant spent $35.34 billion. The gap between the R&D spendings of the two tech giants seems to be closing.

A Comparison of the R&D Expenses of Meta and Google

YearMeta R&D Expenses (Mn)Google R&D Expenses
2022$35,338$39,500
2021$24,655$31,562
2020$18,447$27,573
2019$13,600$ 26,018
2018$10,273$21,419
2017$7,754 $ 16,625 
2016$5,919 $13,948 
2015$4,816 $12,282 

The leading tech businesses invest a heavy sum each year in research and development. Whether it is Apple, Google, Microsoft or Meta, each company spends a fortune each year on research and development to improve its existing product range or to bring new services to the market. 

Facebook is the leading social media brand. However, in recent years, YouTube has grown its user base faster to scale past Facebook.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook invests a large sum each year in R&D. Its investment in research and development has continued to grow year over year very fast.

In 2021, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, invested $24,655 million in research and development compared to $18,447 million in 2020. However, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, invested $31,562 million in research and development compared to $27,573 million in 2020.  

In 2019, Meta spent $13.6 billion on research and development which was around 32% higher than previous year. In 2018, the company had spent $10.3 billion on research and development. Google, on the other hand, spent nearly double what Meta did on research and development. Its R&D expenditure in 2019 was $26 billion which was around 21.5% higher than the previous year. In 2018, Google had spent $21.42 billion on research and development. 

The tech industry has experienced a lot of growth and expansion in recent years and the tech giants are making heavy investments in research and development to improve their products and grow their customer bases.