It looks like things might be getting rough for the folks over at Meta (Facebook) as reports come in about a potential layoff that could affect “thousands” of workers. In fact, these layoffs could come as soon as Wednesday of this week according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The Verge reports that the company currently employs around 87,000 people, but that number could be going down by a significant amount. In a different report, an internal Q&A that was obtained by The Verge’s Alex Heath saw Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg say that “there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here”, shortly before he implemented a hiring freeze last month.
Meta isn’t the only massive social media company planning to make a move like this. Just a couple of weeks ago, Twitter fired half its staff—after billionaire Elon Musk bought the company for USD44 billion (~RM208.7 billion)—including CEO Parag Argawal. Apparently, Meta’s layoffs could come even harder.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s statement during their earnings call last month hinted at a more streamlined approach to their investments, focusing on a small number of “high priority growth areas”. He also said that by the end of 2023, he expects the company to be roughly the same size or a slightly smaller organisation, with most teams within the organisation either staying flat or shrinking over the next year.
One of these areas Zuckerberg says Meta will focus one is their AI discovery engine that powers Reels—their TikTok-like function on Instagram and Facebook—claiming that it is playing an “increasingly important role” across their products. He added that the number of Reels on their platform has grown by 50% in the past six months, to over 140 billion Reels being played across both Instagram and Facebook, and he believes that they are gaining on the time spent share on their competitors like TikTok.
The company has been in a bit of a pickle though, seeing their stock drop to the lowest it has been since 2016. And it looks like their big bet on virtual reality and the metaverse hasn’t really paid off. Meta’s virtual reality arm lost USD3.7 billion (~RM17.5 billion) in the past quarter with a total loss of USD 9.4 billion (~RM44.6 billion) this year alone.
Now, in Twitter’s case, reports have come out stating that the company has started to ask the people they fired to come back after just one day, but it’s hard to say that things could play out the same in Meta’s case as they are not going through a buyout or big change in management. That being said, as it stands right now these are just reports and more information should come later this week.