Social media company Meta is imposing a hiring freeze and warning employees about further restructuring and downsizing. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in an internal joint call, Bloomberg reported.
The company, which owns Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, will reportedly be cutting most teams’ budgets.
The announcement comes just a week after the Wall Street Journal reported that some Meta employees were told to find new roles at the company or face downsizing. According to the report, employees on the “30-day list” must quickly find a new role with the company or face layoffs.
This is the company’s first major budget cut since Facebook was founded in 2004 and seems to herald the end of an era of rapid social media growth. Zuckerberg points to economic uncertainty as a driving factor
Meth management blamed the current economic conditions for the cuts.
“I was hoping the economy would stabilize more clearly by this time, but from what we’re seeing, it doesn’t seem that way yet, so we want to plan somewhat conservatively,” Zuckerberg told employees at the Q&A session, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, the company’s growth is constrained by competition with TikTok, which distracts users from Instagram and Facebook.
Meta has been preparing for layoffs for months
Meta began slowing down hiring in July, when the company seemed to start preparing for layoffs. After Zuckerberg missed his quarterly revenue goal for the first quarter of 2022, he indicated that Meta would slow the pace of its investments.
He also warned that some Meta teams would shrink in response to lower revenues, and suggested that the company was approaching a downturn.
This was also the first year in Facebook’s 18-year history in which the company did not grow.
Many advertising companies are struggling with economic problems
In addition to internal problems, Meta, like many technology companies, faced a drop in value after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Sept. 22.
Twitter announced a hiring freeze on its own employees last May and reportedly asked employees to cut costs where possible. Snapchat cut its workforce by 20 percent last month.
Even Google wasn’t immune. Alphabet, Inc, the parent company of the search giant, slowed its hiring levels in late 2022.