Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, plans its first mass layoff this week that could see thousands of employees losing their jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

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Fast facts

  • Meta officials have already told employees to cut any travel plans that are nonessential beginning this week, the WSJ reported, which added that the company had over 87,000 employees as of the end of September.
  • During Meta’s Q3 earnings call on Oct. 26, chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company will “focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas” in 2023.
  • Meta rebranded itself last year from Facebook to focus on metaverse and virtual reality (VR) technology. The company has poured about US$36 billion into Reality Labs, its VR arm, but has accumulated a US$30.7 billion operating loss at the same time, according to Business Insider.    
  • The tech company’s recently revealed internal documents reveal that Horizon Worlds, its flagship metaverse platform, failed to attract its goal of monthly active users (MAU) of 500,000, as its MAU at the time lingered below 200,000.
  • Meta stocks have fallen about 70% this year.
  • Rival communications tech company Twitter laid off roughly 3,700 employees, about half its staff, at the end of October following Elon Musk’s US$44 billion acquisition.
  • Meta had not yet responded to Forkast’s inquiry for comment on the layoffs at the time of publication.

See related article: Meta’s flagship metaverse said to fall short of performance expectations