Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has announced plans to lay off around 10,000 employees, which represents approximately 13% of its workforce. This move is in line with the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, objective of a “year of efficiency.” The layoffs will begin with the recruitment team this week, and the tech and business groups will be restructured in April and May. Meta’s restructuring efforts include closing about 5,000 unfilled job postings, and it plans to wrap up an analysis of its hybrid return-to-office model, which began testing last March.
Meta Announces Layoffs of 10,000 Employees to Streamline Operations
This latest announcement is the company’s second round of cuts within the past six months. In November, Meta laid off more than 11,000 people or approximately 13% of its workforce at the time. Mr. Zuckerberg is scaling back employees after years of rapid hiring, during which the company’s family of apps, including WhatsApp, became popular worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the use of mobile apps, leading to more growth. Meta employed a maximum of 87,000 full-time workers last year.
However, as the global economy soured, and digital advertising markets contracted, Mr. Zuckerberg put an end to unchecked growth. Meta trimmed employee perks and hinted at further cuts after the November layoffs, which primarily affected the business divisions and recruiting teams.
Meta Faces Challenges Amid Transition to Metaverse and Competition from TikTok
Meta is grappling not only with a digital advertising slowdown but also with Apple’s privacy changes to its mobile operating system, which have restricted its ability to collect data on iPhone users to help target ads. Additionally, Meta is confronted with intense competition from TikTok, which has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years. Meta is currently facing a difficult phase as it attempts to transform into a “metaverse” corporation, linking individuals to an immersive digital universe through virtual-reality headsets and applications.
In his announcement on Tuesday, Mr. Zuckerberg outlined a new vision to streamline the company’s organization, including removing layers of management, ending lower-priority projects, and rebalancing product teams with a focus on engineering. According to him, the actions were taken as a reaction to worldwide circumstances, such as rising regulations, geopolitical instability, higher interest rates, and a declining economy.
Despite investing in artificial intelligence for years, Meta has not been at the forefront of the conversation about the technology. While it is unclear if people will want to use metaverse products, the public has recently gravitated towards chatbots built on artificial intelligence.