Facebook parent Meta preparing to announce large-scale layoffs this week, report says

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is preparing to notify employees of large-scale layoffs this week, people familiar with the matter have told The Wall Street Journal.

The news follows the axing of a large proportion of the staff at Twitter, after its takeover by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

There appears to be a wider trend in tech job cuts forming after the industry enjoyed significant growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meta is thought to be considering making thousands of employees redundant with an announcement planned as soon as Wednesday, the Journal reports.

Sources told the outlet that employees had been instructed to cancel all nonessential travel beginning this week.

At the end of September, Meta reported that it had a total of 87,000 employees.

Meta declined The Independent’s request for comment.

In late October, the company suffered a dramatic fall in the price of its shares after reporting weak results, losing almost 25 per cent of its value. At present, Meta’s share price sits at less than a third of what it was at the start of the year.

Weak performances were reported across its various apps, including Facebook and Instagram. Investors appeared to worry even more when founder Mark Zuckerberg said during a conference call that he would continue to invest even more into the metaverse, despite the negative reaction to its efforts so far.

Though Mr Zuckerberg renamed the company “Meta” rather than Facebook in an attempt to focus on the metaverse, the metaverse does not yet exist in any meaningful form and may not for years.

Ben Barringer, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot told The Independent last month that “Meta’s latest results paint a picture of a company where all is not well.”

“Despite lower expectations after Google and SNAP showed weakness in the digital advertising market, Meta managed to miss estimates and as such the stock is suffering – down 19 per cent in after-hours trading. The number showed continued pricing weakness and a weaker-than-expected guide for Q4,” Mr Barringer said.

“This all comes on a backdrop of weak global economic growth, competition from TikTok and BeReal for eyeballs and competition from Netflix and Disney+ for advertisers, concerns around the profitability and ROI (return on investment) of the metaverse, and the ever-present threat of regulation. The outlook for Meta as a result remains very uncertain.”