A fresh round of layoffs has begun at Meta, a company that had once seemed to have endless room for growth. It accumulated users, bought up other apps, and showered employees with enviable perks. But the company now finds itself in a much tighter spot, with advertising revenue growth slowing and consumer spending shrinking as inflation ratchets up.
As the company looks to rein in costs, Meta has laid off more than a quarter of its workforce this year and has started laying off employees from its core platforms like Instagram. The company also has canceled or reprioritized projects and slashed budgets. And it has asked workers to pay more attention to how they spend their company travel — and even cut out unnecessary trips.
One laid-off employee who received her layoff email at 4:30 AM went viral on social media for sharing her story. In her LinkedIn post, she explains how she was shattered when she received the termination email at 4:30 AM. The email stated that her role was impacted and that today would be her last day at the company. The post had garnered a lot of responses from other laid-off employees, who were also appalled with the timing of the mail.
According to people familiar with the situation, Meta has been letting go of engineers who work on the platform’s core products. As a result, some teams were hit harder than others, including research teams working on the company’s new virtual reality project, Reality Labs, and those developing new ad formats for existing platforms. The company is also cutting back on some of the perks it once touted to attract talent, such as lowering bonuses, revamping performance reviews, reducing remote-work flexibility, and slashing snacks in worker micro-kitchens.
The latest round of cuts at the company also reportedly includes employees in leadership roles and other staff and a reduction of some of its international offices. And it is believed that the company has also terminated some of its leases to trim real estate expenses. The company is still hiring to fill some positions but will be a much leaner organization after the recent restructuring.
It will be a tough road ahead for the company to regain its footing as it works to adapt to changing consumer behavior and navigate the challenges of the global economy. It will need to re-focus on its other platforms, innovations in data, and creators. And it will need to find ways to boost revenues from its existing consumer base, as the ad market is shifting to more established apps and services like TikTok and YouTube.
Despite the setbacks, the company isn’t giving up on its ambitions for the future. Instead, it will experiment with new ad formats to boost revenue streams. For example, it is launching multi-advertiser ads for short video partner ads that appear on the bottom of creator Reels, and it has also launched a post-loop ad format for longer videos between creator Reels.