Apparently this is old news, but Google no longer looks at meta tags for SEO. This is news because for the first 10 years, they did. It's also news because most SEO "experts" still seem to think that meta tags are important. The truth is they are, but not for SEO.
Facebook uses meta tags for their new Open Graph standard (at least until they change everyone's profile page again). Google also uses meta tags for displaying more information about a page in the search results, but neither of those things actually help SEO.
So, what does help SEO? A lot of other things. As I've said before, Google has never released their algorythm so it's somewhat of a black box, and it does change over time. But they've given us certain clues, like the announcement on meta tags.
Are meta tags still useful? Yes, just not in the context of SEO.