Meta's Rumored Layoffs May Make Twitter's Look Mild

It seems Twitter isn't the only company looking to cut costs by laying off a large number of employees. According to fresh claims made by insiders, Meta may be only days away from announcing its own plan to lay off a potentially record-setting number of employees. The first round of workers may lose their jobs this week, though Facebook's parent company hasn't confirmed or denied any rumors at this time.

The leak comes only a couple of days after then-rumored layoffs at Twitter were made official. Thousands of people lost their jobs, though a new leak claims that Twitter has already reversed course and is trying to get some of those laid-off employees to return. In the case of Meta, The Wall Street Journal reports that the rumored layoffs could set a new record among major tech companies, at least when it comes to the sheer number of workers removed within a single year.

The layoffs would hit amid Meta's ongoing metaverse struggles

The information comes from people who are said to have insider knowledge of the matter. Assuming the rumors prove true, the first layoffs could be announced on Wednesday, November 9. Meta likewise is said to have told employees to cancel any "nonessential travel" they may have had planned for this week, and it's difficult to interpret that as anything other than a harbinger of bad news. Jeff Horwitz, the reporter who penned the leak for The Wall Street Journal, said in a tweet thread that some of the insider details are "conflicting" and that they can't yet "confirm the exact size of the cuts." However, Horwitz does claim that thousands of people will lose their jobs.

The overall percentage of Meta employees who will be laid off is said to be smaller than that of Twitter, which cut around half of its entire workforce last week. However, when looking beyond the percentage and at the per-employee figures, the rumored layoff will allegedly be the largest of its kind in the company's history, as well as potentially the largest single annual workforce reduction at a major tech company. Meta has more than 87,000 employees in multiple countries.

It's no secret that Meta has seemingly been blowing money on its metaverse and general VR ambitions, something that has been heavily criticized — and, according to Horwitz, has been the subject of "internal griping." Cost-cutting efforts have been expected at Meta for a few months now (via WSJ), but few anticipated that they may come in the form of wide-scale layoffs. The move perhaps shouldn't be so surprising, however, as the company notoriously went on a hiring spree during the pandemic and its metaverse project hasn't reflected well on the company's finances.