Facebook’s parent company Meta announced today a round of layoffs, hours after disclosing that it would wind down support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In a blog post, the tech giant said it was looking to send home about 10,000 employees. In addition, Meta would close the 5,000 current job listings.
Last November, Meta laid off over 11,000 workers, representing 14% of the firm’s workforce at that time. At the end of last year, Meta reported having 86,483 employees across all departments, a 21% increase from 2021.
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated that the latest layoffs are part of the company’s ‘year of efficiency’ campaign. The CEO said Meta is trying to move forward with an efficient, leaner team while scrapping low-priority projects.
Is Metaverse Still On?
In 2021, Meta expressed optimism about the future of the internet to the point of changing its company name. Meta’s interest in Web3 helped metaverse games at the time surge in value.
However, the buzz cooled down last year after Meta’s early version of its metaverse faced backlash, with many mocking the quality of the graphics. Following the negative reception, metaverse games like The Sandbox recorded a significant drop in daily users, and its token fell by 80%.
Last December, Meta reiterated its focus on developing its metaverse, but recently the firm has appeared to be contemplating on exploring the fast-rising artificial intelligence (AI) space, thanks to the success of OpenAI-owned ChatGPT.
On February 1, during Meta’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Zuckerberg said the company had made a large investment in AI and was looking forward to building it into every Meta product. Further, the CEO emphasized Meta’s commitment to channeling more resources into its Reality Labs division to facilitate the development of mixed reality and virtual reality headsets.
Why Meta Stopped Support for NFTs
Yesterday, when Meta announced it would suspend support for NFT barely a year after stepping into the space, the company’s Commerce and FinTech Lead, Stephane Kasriel, said Meta was moving away from NFTs to focus on other ways to support people, businesses, and creators using the company’s products.