Meta has started the layoffs it announced in March. The company has confirmed that it's letting go of the first wave of the roughly 10,000 affected employees. CNBC notes that this initial round of job cuts focuses on technical roles, such as software engineer, AR/VR gameplay programmers and user experience designers. Business positions (such as finance and legal) will be cut in May. Other tech workers may be affected next month.
Company chief Mark Zuckerberg outlined the schedule for the cuts upon revealing them last month. This comes after Meta laid off 11,000 people last fall. The two rounds of cuts represent Meta's first mass layoffs, and Zuckerberg has characterized 2023 as a "year of efficiency" where the company narrows its focus and is theoretically more productive.
Meta is dealing with a rough economy like other big tech firms laying off staff, but is also struggling to pivot to the metaverse. The social media pioneer has continued to pour billions of dollars into the Reality Labs unit responsible for its VR headsets and virtual platforms like Horizon Worlds, but these have yet to translate to major revenue growth. Ad revenue for Meta's main social platforms fell in 2022.
The company's outlook for its just-ended quarter suggests the worst of the downturns may be at an end. Results will be announced next week. Reality Labs isn't expected to turn a profit, though, and it may be some time before Meta's social businesses return to meaningful growth.