Meta employees are bracing for possible layoffs as growth slows and spending on the metaverse soars

Meta employees are bracing for possible layoffs as growth slows and spending on the metaverse soars
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta.Photo by Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty

Good morning, everyone! It's Thursday, which means there are only about 36 more hours until the weekend begins (but who's counting).


Today I'm dreaming of Bali, which will soon let tourists move there for five or 10 years. It seems like the perfect option for the digital nomads among us, but there's just one little catch: you'll have to bring about $130,000 with you.

In other news, Elon Musk visited Twitter HQ Wednesday holding an unexpected accessory and Meta employees are bracing for layoffs as metaverse spending soars.

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I'm your host, Avery Hartmans — let's jump in.

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1. Meta workers are being told to prepare for layoffs. Employees at the Facebook owner are being told to put in 200% effort, but not even good performance could be enough to save their jobs. As the company embarks on a reorganization, insiders are starting to prepare their backup plans.

  • Employees say they have to hit a new performance mandate of "increased intensity," while some managers are being pushed out. Other leaders — and whole teams — are being moved around amid the ongoing reorganization, workers say
  • "There is general consensus that we will have 20% fewer people next year," one employee said. "How that will happen, I'm not sure yet."
  • At the same time, Meta isn't backing down from metaverse spending. It's on track to burn through more than $10 billion this year and warned Wednesday that its metaverse business will lose even more money in 2023.

Find out what's happening inside Meta.

In other news:

Meta employees are bracing for possible layoffs as growth slows and spending on the metaverse soars
Universal; AMC Networks; NBC Universal; Participant; Rachel Mendelson/Insider

2. The rising stars of entertainment. Hollywood is rapidly evolving amid mergers, streaming battles, and tech disruption. All of this change means the industry needs innovative leaders, creative execs who can steer heavyweights like HBO Max, Netflix, and Amazon into the future. We identified the 26 rising stars in the entertainment industry — meet them here.

3. Elon Musk visits Twitter HQ. Elon Musk entered Twitter's headquarters on Wednesday with an unusual item in tow: a bathroom sink. "Let that sink in!" he tweeted, along with a video of the visit. Musk will be in Twitter's San Francisco office this week to meet with staff, according to a leaked email. Read the full memo — and watch Musk's video — here.

4. Social media is dividing us — just not in the way you'd think. The like-minded bubbles we live in on social media are the reason we're so divided, right? Maybe not, according to new research, which found that social media exposes us to people and ideas we wouldn't otherwise encounter, which leads to polarization. Here's how we got here.

5. Snap's CEO disses the metaverse. It's safe to say Evan Spiegel isn't a metaverse fan. The Snap CEO said living inside a computer is "the last thing I want to do when I get home from work during a long day." Why he's betting on augmented reality over virtual reality.

6. The iPhone will be irrelevant one day. What would make users give up their iPhones? As of right now, nothing. But it's actually inevitable the iPhone will one day be replaced by something else, and in fact, the technology that topples the iPhone could already be out there. Here's how to spot the signs that a change is coming.


7. A YouTuber built a gas generator to power his Tesla. YouTuber Matt Mikka wanted to take long road trips in his Tesla without having to stop to charge it. His solution: a gas generator that charges his Tesla Model S when it's parked and when the car is moving. Check out what he's calling a "cordless Tesla."

8. Netflix's animation stumbles. Netflix appears to be pulling back on its big bet on animated TV. Company insiders say Netflix made some avoidable missteps with its kids shows and that an upcoming adult animated show has been canceled. Combined with layoffs and leadership changes, signs point to disarray in Netflix's animation division.

Odds and ends:

Meta employees are bracing for possible layoffs as growth slows and spending on the metaverse soars
Isabel Fernandez Pujol/BI Photo

9. I spent hundreds of dollars to let an animated chef make my dinner. At Le Petit Chef, the world's "smallest chef" prepares you a multi-course meal thanks to 3D projection mapping. It's a unique blend of food, technology, and entertainment, but it may not be worth the high price tag. This is what it's like to visit.


10. Which iPad is right for you. We compared all five iPads on the market, from the premium iPad Pro to the compact iPad Mini. While each of Apple's tablets has its merits, it can be hard to tell which one suits your needs. Our guide can help you decide.

What we're watching today:

  • Apple, Amazon, Intel, Shopify, and Pinterest will report quarterly earnings today.

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Avery Hartmans in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @averyhartmans.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.