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Meta Facebook Layoffs 2022: 11,000 Staff Cuts Amid Social Media, Metaverse Struggles

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Facebook parent Meta Platforms will lay off 11,000 employees amid social media ad weakness, and poor business traction in the metaverse, Reuters reported. Rumors about the planned job cuts first surfaced earlier this week in The Wall Street Journal.

In an internal message to employees, according to the Reuters report, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:

"Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I'd expected."

Among the question marks: How will the job cuts potentially impact Meta Reality Labs? That business division, under fire from Wall Street analysts, manages virtual and augmented reality headsets and the Meta Horizon Worlds metaverse platform. Horizon Worlds has attracted only 200,000 users, the Journal estimates.

Meta and Facebook business partners are surely watching the job cuts and company priorities closely. Indeed, key partner ecosystems include Meta Business Partners and Oculus for Business ISVs.

Related: See all technology industry company layoffs listed here.

Meta: Runaway R&D Spending, Poor Metaverse Performance

Among the overall Meta Platforms business metrics to note for Q3 of 2022:

  • Revenues fell by 4%, to $27.71 billion;
  • costs and expenses rose 19%; and
  • operating income fell by 46%, to $5.66 billion.

In a prepared statement about those earnings, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:

"Our community continues to grow and I'm pleased with the strong engagement we're seeing driven by progress on our discovery engine and products like Reels. While we face near-term challenges on revenue, the fundamentals are there for a return to stronger revenue growth. We're approaching 2023 with a focus on prioritization and efficiency that will help us navigate the current environment and emerge an even stronger company."

The Meta layoffs news surfaced roughly one week after Twitter cut half of its staff. Moreover, targeted job cuts continue at a range of cloud, security and SaaS-focused companies.

Cloud Services: Talent Still In Demand?

Still, the news isn't all bad. Google Cloud, for instance, apparently unfroze hiring in October 2022.

Note: Blog originally published November 6, 2022. Updated November 9 with confirmed headcount reduction figures.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.