Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms, has reportedly lowered its target for hiring engineers in 2022 to around 6,000-7,000 from an initial plan to hire around 10,000 new engineers. According to Reuters, the statement came from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who cited the data during a weekly employee Q&A session on Thursday.
In another update, Meta Platforms is preparing for a streamlining in the second half of the year as it grapples with macroeconomic pressures and a data privacy hit on its advertising business, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Companies must “prioritize more ruthlessly” and “run leaner, meaner, better-executed teams,” Chief Product Officer Chris Cox wrote in the memo, which appeared on Workplace, the company’s internal discussion forum .
“I must stress that we are in tough times and the headwinds are fierce. We need to execute flawlessly in a slowing growth environment, and teams shouldn’t expect an influx of new engineers and budgets,” Cox wrote.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The memo is the latest rough forecast from Meta executives, who have already begun cutting costs and suspending hiring for most of the company’s workforce this year in the face of slowing ad sales and user growth.
While Meta’s shares fell more than rivals Apple and Google, all tech companies scaled back their ambitions amid expectations of a possible U.S. recession.
The world’s largest social media company has lost about half its value this year after Meta reported its first quarterly decline in daily active users on its flagship Facebook app.
Its austerity plan comes at a tricky time, coinciding with two main strategic pivots: one aimed at reshaping its social media offering around “discovery” to beat competition from short-video app TikTok, and an expensive one Long bet on augmented and virtual reality.
Cox reportedly said in his memo that Meta needs to five-fold the number of graphics processing units (GPUs) in its data centers by the end of the year to support the “discovery” push, which requires additional computing power to allow AI surfaced top posts from Facebook and Instagram in users’ feeds.
Interest in Meta’s TikTok-style short-form video product, Reels, is growing rapidly, with time spent on Reels doubling year-over-year, both in the U.S. and globally, Cox said.
About 80 percent of the growth since March has come from Facebook, he added.
He added that user interaction with Reels can provide a key avenue for improving profits, so it’s important to add advertising to Reels “as soon as possible.”
Zuckerberg told investors in April that executives saw Reels as “an important part of the discovery engine vision,” but at the time described the short-video shift as a “short-term headwind” as advertisers became more critical of the format.
Meta also sees the potential for revenue growth from business messaging and in-app shopping tools, Cox said, adding that the latter could “mitigate the signal loss caused by Apple-led privacy changes.”
He said the company’s hardware division is “focused” on the successful launch of its mixed reality headset, codenamed “Cambria,” in the second half of the year. Meta is also focusing on linking accounts between its virtual reality products and traditional social media apps, he said.
© Thomson Reuters 2022