Mass layoffs: Meta cuts 10,000 jobs after scrapping NFT plans
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has decided to reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees following the termination of its support for NFTs.
Meta scraps NFT plans, aims for efficiency and creator support
Meta’s decision to terminate its support for NFTs has been followed by an announcement that the company will pause its initiative to allow the sharing of digital collectibles on Instagram.
Meta Commerce and Fintech lead, Stephane Kasriel, confirmed on Twitter that the company is now exploring other means of supporting creators, businesses, and individuals.
As part of Meta’s efforts to improve its organizational efficiency and optimize its tools and processes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a “year of efficiency” campaign in a recent post. This campaign includes significant job cuts across multiple departments, with the recruiting department being affected immediately, tech groups in April, and business groups in May.
Meta’s layoffs and pivot toward AI
Meta has previously undertaken job cuts, with the company laying off approximately 11,000 workers in November 2022, accounting for approximately 13% of its workforce at the time. Despite reporting a headcount of 86,482 people across all divisions as of December 31, 2022, representing a 20% increase from the previous year, this figure still included the majority of individuals impacted by the November layoffs.
Following the recent job cuts and the winding down of support for NFTs, there are questions surrounding Meta’s plans for the metaverse. The company generated significant excitement around the concept in 2021, reflected by its decision to rebrand and highlight its ambitions for the future of the internet. This helped to drive interest in Web3 metaverse games, with virtual land NFT plots experiencing a notable surge in value.
Despite reaffirming its focus on the metaverse towards the end of last year, the buzz surrounding the concept has dampened amid concerns surrounding the idea of an immersive internet, particularly in relation to Meta’s early iteration of the metaverse, and the increasing costs of digital real estate. Meta has since shifted its messaging towards AI, citing the success of rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Meta shifts focus: What does the future hold?
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO, has placed significant emphasis on the company’s focus on advancing AI and integrating it into all of its products. However, he also stated that Meta’s development of the metaverse remains central to defining the future of social connection. During Meta’s Q4 2022 earnings call, Zuckerberg emphasized the company’s investment in virtual and mixed reality technologies with the aim of building an immersive internet.
Meta’s recent decision to cut jobs and terminate its support for NFTs suggests the company may be shifting its focus from the metaverse to AI. Although Meta has not completely abandoned its plans for the metaverse, it remains to be seen whether its pivot toward AI will be successful. Given the constant evolution of the tech industry, companies that do not adapt may risk being left behind.