Social media behemoth Meta has announced a contraction to core engineering projects, outlining plans to lay off 10,000 jobs and abandoning NFTs.
The move away from the blockchain was announced a day before CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed his “Year of Efficiency” in a long letter to employees. Zuckerberg spoke of the need to cut even seemingly profitable projects if they were not part of the company’s technological essence.
“We are a technology company, and our ultimate output is what we build for people. Everything else we do is in service of that,” he wrote in the approximately 2000-word letter.
The day before Meta Head of Commercial and Financial Stephane Kasriel had used Twitter to announce the death of Meta NFTs on Instagram and Facebook.
“We’re winding down digital collectibles (NFTs) for now to focus on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses,” Kasriel said.
NFT projects included an ability to link wallets to Meta apps and through them to trade assets with other users, and a more experimental ability for some creators to mint and sell NFTs directly in Instagram.
Given the fate of Meta’s cryptocurrency Diem and crypto-wallet Novi – knocked on the head for regulatory reasons – it is not surprising Meta walked away from NFTs.
The candid letter from Zuckerberg to his rapidly shrinking workforce included an analysis of why smaller organisations build products quicker, and how seemingly good projects can have high and invisible overheads if they are not part of the core mission. It also included a clear message that Meta’s core employees were software engineers, and that the company revolved around them.
The 10,000 layoffs are in addition to 11,000 jobs already cut at Meta late last year. Most of those redundancies were effective immediately. Meta watchers say the company should end up with about 66,000 employees when the dust settles, although that has not been verified by the company.
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