Zuckerberg to impose hiring freeze at Meta

Facebook's Meta Group is facing cost-cutting measures after its business weakened. Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg prepared employees for a hiring freeze and budget cuts in an internal Q&A session.

The Group is planning a savings program of at least 10 percent, writes the Wall Street Journal. Meta declined to comment on the report when asked, but referred to statements made by Zuckerberg in late July.

At that time, the Group had suffered a decline in sales for the first time in its history. In the second quarter of 2022, sales fell 1 percent year-on-year to $28.8 billion. Profit slumped 36 percent to $6.7 billion.

Weak economy slows meta

Meta is suffering from the current turbulence in the global economy and from competition from the video platform TikTok. Like TikTok, the Group is now increasingly focusing on short videos that are recommended to users with the help of a powerful algorithm.

Apple's measures to better protect privacy on the iPhone also upset the business model. At the same time, the focus on virtual worlds - the "metaverse" - entails development costs in the billions.

Zuckerberg sees the future of the Internet in the metaverse, virtual worlds where users work, play and communicate using avatars. That's why he renamed Facebook Meta a year ago (Werbewoche.ch reported).

Cautious planning

He had hoped that the economic trend would have stabilized more by now, Zuckerberg said, according to Bloomberg. But since it doesn't look like that, Meta wants to plan more cautiously. There are to be budget cuts across various areas, he said.

Meta had grown rapidly in recent years, partly to meet requirements for security and filtering out hate speech. As of June 30, the Group had 83,553 employees, up from 63,404 a year earlier. (SDA)

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