Facebook’s parent company Meta announced it is laying off 11,000 employees in the largest job cut in the company’s history. The layoff represents 13% of the company’s entire workforce.
The move came as CEO Mark Zuckerberg pivots the company further into the Metaverse, which has been a concern for some investors, according to the Associated Press. Meta has poured more than $10 billion per year into its Metaverse technology, shifting focus from traditional social media to a virtual world where users can interact with one another.
Zuckerberg is banking on this immersive digital universe replacing smartphones. According to outside estimates, 15 million of the company’s consumer VR headsets have already been sold. And Meta’s flagship virtual-reality game “Horizon Worlds” has 300,000 monthly active users. But that’s tiny compared to Facebook’s 2.9 billion active users.
While there is some hype in the Metaverse, internal memos obtained by The Verge show Meta’s “Horizon Worlds” app is buggy and the company’s employees are barely using it. In one of the memos to employees dated Sept. 15, Meta’s vice president of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, said the team would remain in a “quality lockdown” for the rest of the year to “ensure that we fix our quality gaps and performance issues before we open up Horizon to more users.”
Zuckerberg said more cost cuts for Meta will be rolled out in the coming months.