Meta cuts hiring plans as it prepares for ‘serious times’

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said so in a weekly Q&A session for employees company is experiencing “one of the worst downturns [it has seen] in recent history.” According to Reuters, the executive revealed that Meta lowered its target number for hiring new engineers by about 30 percent this year. Meta previously said it’s slowing its hiring plans due to weak revenue forecasts, but now Zuckerberg has announced more details with exact numbers: Apparently, of plans to hire 10,000 new engineers this year, Meta will only hire between 6,000 and 7,000.

Additionally, the CEO said Meta is raising expectations of current employees and setting them more aggressive goals so they can decide for themselves if the company isn’t for them. “[S]Eleven-Selection is fine with me,” he said. In a memo to employees, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox emphasized that the company “is in serious times and the headwinds are fierce.” He also listed the company’s six investment priorities in the second half of the year, starting with its Metaverse initiatives Avatars and its virtual world Horizon Worlds.

According to the memo, fully published by The edge, Meta is also aiming to monetize Reels as soon as possible. Time spent on Reels has more than doubled globally since last year, the memo said, with 80 percent of that growth coming from Facebook. Cox called Reels, his short-form video format created in response to TikTok, a “bright spot” for the company in the first half of 2022. Meta plans to continue improving the experience, including home screen changes on Instagram and Facebook, to embed the videos more natively.

Additionally, Meta plans to focus on its AI initiatives as well as WhatsApp and Messenger in the second half of the year. It plans to test WhatApp communities before rolling out the feature globally by the end of 2022. The company will also develop Instagram Creator channels and connectable chats, which it plans to roll out in the coming months.

Cox wrote in the memo:

“I have to stress that we are in serious times here and the headwinds are fierce. We need to operate flawlessly in a slower growth environment where teams shouldn’t expect a large influx of new engineers and budgets. We need to prioritize ruthlessly, remember to measure and understand what’s driving impact, invest in the efficiency and speed of developers within the organization, and lead leaner, meaner, more exciting teams.

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