By September 2022, Facebook’s (Meta) employees count had peaked at 87,314. Yet, as revenue slew down for the first time in years, the company announced a layoff of 13% of the company’s workforce, bringing the headcount to 75,964. By March 2023, Meta announced another round of layoffs, dubbed “The Year of Efficiency,” which brought the headcount down to less than 66 thousand employees.
|2022 (As of September)||87,314|
|2022 (As of November)||75,964|
|2023 (As of March)||65,964|
After over-hiring for years, by November 2022, Facebook (rebranded as Meta), which advertising machine had slowed down, had to execute a massive layoff.
The largest layoff for the company to date.
In a leaked internal video, a contrived Mark Zuckerberg shares the news:
Meta laid off 13% of its staff or over eleven thousand employees!
Meta wrote his new manifesto in a new announcement, dubbed “The Year of Efficiency.”
As announced by Meta, the year of efficiency moves along a few key pillars:
- Flatter is better
- Leaner is better
- Keep technology the main thing
- Invest in tools to get more efficient
- In-person time to build relationships and get more done
Before we get there, let me give you a bit of context on how we got here and what might be coming next.
Also, it is worth noticing that this manifesto that Facebook (Meta) has released is as much a tool to communicate outside the company as a tool to communicate to its employees.
In short, this is a cultural shift that Zuckerberg wants to communicate to its employees before anyone else.
Let me explain why in a bit.
In the meantime, it’s worth remembering that Facebook has undergone three core changes in its history, and one more is happening now.
These stages can be summarized as.
Move fast and break things (2004-2014)
In this time period, Facebook has acted as a continuous blitzscaler, trying to gain market shares as quickly as possible, killing the competition with an aggressive iterative strategy coupled with aggressive acquisitions and a fight to optimize every single user engagement metric.
In this period, Facebook managed to go from a small startup, in a Harvard dormitory, to a scale-up, able to compete against Google!
Move fast with stable infrastructure (2014-2022)
By 2014-15 Facebook had passed a billion users worldwide, becoming a de facto monopoly in the social media space.
Given the incredible influence of the company, the motto changes from “move fast and break things” to “move fast with a stable infrastructure.”
This was a key change, as it signaled to the world that while Facebook’s priority was still to move fast, it could not afford to do that by risking breaking its own infrastructure.
For a scaled company providing services to billions of users, the underlying infrastructure stability became critical.
From Facebook to Meta (2022-2023)
Zuckerberg had the conviction that VR would have become the next platform in 2014, when Facebook acquired VR maker, Oculus (which still today represents the leading product in the Reality Labs segment).
It was correct wholly but directionally missed how it would have evolved in the short term.
The company’s cost structure completely collapsed under the weight of a Metaverse that never materialized.
The spiked expenses into the Metaverse also crashed Facebook’s profitability.
Again, that doesn’t mean the Metaverse is not happening, but not in the way Zuckerberg envisioned, and not on Meta!
Today, the Metaverse is happening on another platform: Roblox.
Roblox it’s so sticky that it has seen its daily active users move from 49.5 million by 2021 to almost 59 million in 2022, collectively spending engaging on the platform 12.8 billion hours!
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