Meta announced this week a new staff cut. As reported Reuters Last Tuesday, Facebook’s parent company communicated this decision to employees through a post posted in an internal company chat. In the absence of knowing the exact number of employees who will be left without work, those laid off will join those close to 21,000 professionals that the company headed by Mark Zuckerberg has fired from November 2022 until now. He will do it increase layoffs in the technology sectorwhich amount to 239,603 so far this year according to data from Layoffs.fyi.
The announcement was made One day to another. As the British agency points out, the company that owns WhatsApp sent the message last Tuesday, indicating that the affected employees would be informed on Wednesday morning. At the moment the number of affected workers is not known, but the section chosen by Zuckerberg for this personnel cut is known. It’s about FAST (Facbook Agile Silicon Team), the unit integrated into Reality Lab, a division of Meta specialized in silicon chip development intended for the augmented and virtual reality market.
FAST, a department made up of 600 workers, aims to improve the devices required to access and use the metaverse, so the staff cut could affect Meta’s plan for this virtual universe. The development of devices such as the Meta Quest 3 virtual reality glasses, available from October 10, could be distorted.
On the other hand, this movement raises the option of a change in strategy by Zuckerberg in his plan regarding the metaverse. Meta’s commitment to this project virtual reality, announced in October 2021, seems to be holding firm, although its journey in these last two years pales in comparison to that of Artificial Intelligence. In fact, last April, the company itself announced an increase in funding for the development of artificial intelligence, acknowledging that it had arrived late to the developing your own AI infrastructure.
Although he acknowledged that Meta will continue working in the metaverse in the coming years, it was clear that the company had charted a new course that involves generative AI – where it has already taken the first steps with its LLaMA chatbot-, perhaps to the detriment of the metaverse.
Additionally, this announcement comes the same week in which the Wall Street Journal has revealed Meta’s plans to introduce a payment system on Instagram and Facebook at the European level with the aim of adapting to community laws related to data protection. The idea is that heUsers pay 13 dollars a month if they do not want to receive personalized ads.
In short, the technology crisis has forced Big Tech’s to modify their plans. Mass layoffs or return to the office They are strategies to weather a storm that does not seem to improve due to elements such as high interest rates and the energy crisis. In this context, Zuckerberg’s company has chosen to reduce the workforce dedicated to developing what was once Meta’s star project.