Meta freezes contracting of purchasing team, Messenger Kids and other products

Meta is pulling out of its investments in a number of products, including teams it created early in the pandemic to compete with Zoom and build shopping features. the edge has learned. In addition to freezing hiring for certain engineering roles, the company also recently halted the hiring of recruiters and low-level data scientists.

While hiring freezes have caused employees to fear layoffs are just around the corner, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said at an internal meeting last Thursday that no job cuts are planned. “I can’t sit here and make a standing promise that as things change, we won’t have to reconsider that,” Zuckerberg said, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by the edge. “But what I can tell you is that from where we are today, our expectation is not that we have to do that. And instead, basically what we’re doing is dialing in growth to levels that we think will be manageable over time.”

Here’s what that call looks like so far: Meta leaders in the past few days have started telling specific teams that they won’t be able to hire new engineers or receive internal transfers. It’s a sign those specific products aren’t making money or strategically important enough to invest in further, while Meta’s share price is down 43% this year. Product teams already affected by an engineering freeze, including Facebook Dating and Gaming, Messenger Kids, the Commerce team, and the Remote Presence team created during the pandemic to build video and audio calling features to better compete with Zoom.

Joe Osborne, a spokesman for Meta, confirmed that the engineer has hired retirements for the specific teams and said the company is still actively recruiting for machine learning and artificial intelligence roles. “As we mentioned in our recent earnings, we are evaluating key priorities across the company and putting energy behind them, especially as it relates to our core business and Reality Labs,” he said in a statement shared with the edge.

Inside Reality Labs, which makes the software and hardware for the metaverse that Zuckerberg is betting the company’s future on, CTO Andrew Bosworth recently told employees that some projects will lose priority to others, as reported by first time for Reuters. Employees will not be transferred out of the division, which already numbers more than 17,000 people, and team-specific changes have not yet been communicated internally.

Meta has been hit by a combination of the rise of TikTok, a sell-off in tech stocks and changes to Apple’s ad tracking that are costing the company billions of dollars in lost ad revenue, Zuckerberg told reporters. employees last week. At the same time, he tried to reassure them that the company, with its rich balance sheet and billions of dollars in quarterly profit, is in a strong place to navigate what many on Wall Street believe could be a prolonged downturn in the stock market. values.

“Any time we lower growth targets, I think you always hear a lot of speculation like, ‘Okay, are we in trouble? Or is something more dramatic going to happen?’” he said during everyone’s internal meeting. “And look, obviously if everything had gone exactly as planned, we wouldn’t be changing this. But I want to make it clear that we are in a very strong position and we have a very healthy business, and we are still growing rapidly.”

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