Reports of "large-scale layoffs" at Meta have raised questions about the fate of the company's metaverse team

By: Dickson Arinze

Reports of "large-scale layoffs" at Meta have raised questions about the fate of the company's metaverse team

November 7, 2022 7:02 PM

There were more than 87,000 people working for Meta as of the end of September, with many of them reportedly being part of the Reality Labs team.

Due to mounting costs and a recent slump in its share price, social networking and technology firm Meta is apparently preparing for "large-scale layoffs" this week.

The anticipated layoffs might affect thousands of workers across a wide variety of departments at Meta, whose total staff is estimated at 87,000, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on November 6 that cited persons familiar with the situation.

It is unclear at this time if layoffs would occur in the company's Reality Labs segment, which lost $3.7 billion in the third quarter.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, announced last week that the company would be shifting its focus from the metaverse to "a small handful of high-priority growth areas," including its AI Discovery Engine, advertising, and corporate messaging platforms.

"As a result, while some teams will experience significant expansion in the coming year, the majority will either maintain their current size or experience a decline. We anticipate that by the end of 2023, our organization will be around the same size as it is right now, or possibly even less."

The billionaire businessman appeared to encourage further investment in these areas on the earnings call, stating the company is "on the right road with these initiatives" and should "keep spending significantly in these areas."

This comes just one week after Meta announced earnings that fell short of expectations due to lower-than-expected revenue and higher-than-expected operating expenses. Meta shares have fallen in value from a week ago, falling 7.56 percent, to a current price of $90.79, down 73.19% from a year ago.

Despite this, the firm seems to be aggressively looking for positions in its metaverse section, with 38 of the 413 vacant positions having something to do with AR/VR.