Facebook parent Meta is the latest among US’ BigTech to reportedly look at lay-offs amid grim financial times for the social media behemoth. These layoffs – reported by WSJ and the final tally of which may number in the thousands – could happen as early as this week. According to the report Meta is contemplating mass layoffs, and an announcement is expected as soon as Wednesday.
As of September 30, Meta has over 87,000 employees across its divisions and platforms globally. Apart from Facebook, its flagship social media platform, Meta also contains in its arsenal messaging platform WhatsApp and photo-sharing social networking site Instagram. If Meta follows through with its plans to reduce its headcount by several thousands, then it will be the first large-scale reduction in its headcount to occur ever since Meta – previously known as Facebook – came into existence.
It also falls in line with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s previous statements regarding the headcount of the company. On the earnings call of the company’s financial performance for the quarter that ended September 30, 2022, Zuckerberg informed that Meta will be focusing its “investments on a small number of high priority growth areas,” which means that “most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year.” He had painted a grim picture in his projections as well, informing that the company expected to “end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organization than we are today.”
Zuckerberg’s projections are not so different from forecasts presented by other companies in their own earning calls this year, which accompanies a series of job cuts and layoffs in the tech space this year. The gains from the pandemic-fuelled growth over the past two years have been followed by adverse macroeconomic conditions, rising inflation, falling stocks, fears of a recession, and an economic downturn, which have persuaded several companies to slow or freeze the rate of hiring or resort to mass layoffs.
The impending layoffs at Meta succeed similar decisions by other companies this month. Online financial services company Chime, for one, has decided to lay off 12% of its staff, which will go on to affect a total of 160 employees, in its bid to recapitalize “regardless of market conditions.” Ridesharing player Lyft, for another, will be reported to lay off 13% of its staff this month as well. However, one of the most major layoffs of the month is that initiated by Twitter, which affected almost half of the company’s total workforce. The same has already landed Twitter in trouble as it has been sued for violating federal and California law.