There was a time during the Covid pandemic when Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse was supposed to change everything. But with workers returning to the office and the pandemic over, the metaverse has become an epic failure.
Meta’s Reality Labs division, working on its virtual reality tech, laid off workers and reduced spending earlier this year in what Zuckerberg has called the “year of efficiency.”
Reuters reports, citing multiple sources, that Reality Labs’ division focused on creating high-tech chips for virtual reality devices will slash its workforce on Wednesday.
Employees found out about the layoffs in an internal work chat on Tuesday. The message said Meta would notify workers about their job status early Wednesday morning, according to the source.
Reuters could not determine the number of layoffs in the Facebook Agile Silicon Team, or FAST, unit, which has 600 employees developing custom chips to equip Meta’s VR devices. A restructuring has been expected for two quarters when Meta hired a new executive to oversee the unit.
“If the cuts are deep, they could hamper Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s project to build augmented and virtual reality products,” Reuters said.
At the moment, Meta sells Quest and smart glasses devices, but neither has turned out to be a success. As we’ve noted: “The Metaverse Was A Pandemic Pipe Dream” and pointed out that Zuck has been hit with a trifecta of recent failed product launches:
- Smart Glasses
Since November of last year, Meta has cut 21,000 jobs as it reduces costs amid a slump in revenue growth, soaring inflation, and concerns about flooding metaverse, smart glasses, and Threads.