'Post-Metaverse' Meta Poised To Lay Off Thousands More: Report

Meta — now engaged in a race to compete in artificial intelligence — is planning to lay off thousands more employees as soon as this week, following its layoffs of 11,000, or 13% of its global workforce, in November, according to Bloomberg sources.

Meta declined to comment on the report.

Meta lost $24 billion over the past two years, including $13.7 billion last year, and saw its stock plummet 52% in Q3 2022 alone.

But the stock has risen 54% to date, and was up 1.7% in premarket trading today.

In 2021 and 2022, Reality Labs, the division housing metaverse projects, recorded a cumulative loss of nearly $24 billion, including $13.7 billion just last year.

The rebound began following the first round of layoffs, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s accompanying proclamation that 2023 would be Meta’s “year of efficiency,” his launch of a restructuring that has eliminated layers of management and some entire teams, a better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue gain, and a $40-billion stock buyback.



Even more important, in posts last month, Zuckerberg confirmed the company’s shift to focusing on generative artificial intelligence — the locus of frantic tech industry activity since OpenAi’s launch of the game-changing ChatGPT tech last November — effectively declaring (without admitting) a massive pullback from its failed strategic focus on the metaverse. (The latest example of which is the company’s move to slash the prices of its Quest virtual reality headsets.)

“It’s becoming clear now that when Zuckerberg mentioned that this was the year of efficiency for Meta, what he meant was shifting the focus away from the metaverse to more tangible revenue opportunities,” GlobalData analyst Laura Petrone recently observed.

Following the examples of Microsoft and Snapchat, Meta is now exploring AI integrations withi its tools to integrate conversational AI elements in Facebook and Instagram.

“In the short term, we’ll focus on building creative and expressive tools,” Zuckerberg posted on his Instagram channel. “Over the longer term, we’ll focus on developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways. We’re exploring experiences with text (like cat in WhatsApp and Messenger), with images (like creative Instagram filters and ad formats), and with video and multi-modal experiences.”

Meta also announced that it’s releasing its own “large language” model  — the tech that powers applications like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing AI — and making it available to researchers to help them address bias and misinformation issues in AI.

To support its entry in the AI race as advertising headwinds continue, Meta is also developing new non-AI revenue channels — most notably, its Twitter-like paid verified subscription program.

1 comment about "'Post-Metaverse' Meta Poised To Lay Off Thousands More: Report".
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  1. Jonathan May from HorseTV Global, March 7, 2023 at 12:24 p.m.

    "Over the longer term, we’ll focus on developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways..."  What he really means is he will find more ways to extract information from the subscriber base to monetize it for personal gain.  With his kind of "help" we really don't need any more.  He has already savaged everyone's personal privacy to where there is none left.

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