Meta's capital expenditure reached $6.4 billion in the latest quarter, "driven by investments in data centers, servers, and network infrastructure."

That's down on the $7.1bn the company spent last quarter, but the Facebook owner has now completed a data center restructuring initiative that led to the cancelation or pausing of numerous in-development projects.

Next-Gen Data Center blueprint
– Meta

Back in February, Meta said that it would spend $4bn less on capex thanks to the delays and a cheaper data center design. In an earnings call this week, CFO Susan Li added that the company has also saved money on "non-AI servers where we previously had some underutilized capacity and we've been identifying ways to be more efficient in the way that we allocate that capacity towards all of our various needs."

A lot of the savings continue to be "from delays in data center projects and server deliveries and that'll just push that associated capex, which we were planning for in 2023, into 2024."

Late last year, DCD exclusively reported on Meta's drastic plans to scrap existing data center projects in favor of a then-unfinished new design.

The new concept was then unveiled in May, with Meta stating that the next-generation facilities would be better at supporting large GPU clusters for AI training and inference.

"Our growth in AI investments is really the thing that is driving the growth in our 2024 capex outlook," Li said. But she warned: "There is also another component, which is the next-generation AI efforts that we've talked about around advanced research and Gen AI and that's a place where we're already standing of training clusters and inference capacity, but we don't know exactly what we'll need in 2024 since we don't have any at-scale deployments yet of consumer business-facing features and the scale of the adoption of those products is ultimately going to inform how much capacity we need."

She said that if the company does not end up needing as much compute for generative AI workloads, it will repurpose the servers for "core AI work supporting ads and engagement."

In the same quarter, Google reported a capex spend of $6.89bn, while Microsoft spent $10.7bn. Both companies also pointed to data center buildouts and AI servers as their biggest costs.