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Twitter, Facebook parent Meta decimate workforce


FILE PHOTO: Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo from Reuters files.

Twitter fired more than 90% of its staff in India staff over the weekend, leaving just a dozen, while US media reported that Facebook-parent Meta will become the latest tech firm to scale back its workforce, with plans to layoff thousands of employees this week.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the layoffs could impact “many thousands” of Meta employees and that an announcement was expected as soon as Wednesday.

As of Sept 30, Meta had about 87,000 employees worldwide across its different platforms, which include social media sites Facebook and Instagram as well as messaging platform Whatsapp.

In his announcement of Meta’s disappointing third quarter results, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the firm’s staff would not increase by the end of 2023, and might decrease slightly.

The latest plans from Meta follow recent announcements by other tech firms to freeze hiring or cut their workforce as the industry fights economic headwinds.

Last Thursday, Silicon Valley firms Stripe and Lyft announced large-scale layoffs while Amazon said it would freeze hiring in its corporate offices.

Twitter, freshly acquired by Elon Musk, abruptly fired about half of its 7,500 employees last week.

Ad-supported platforms such as Facebook and Alphabet’s Google are suffering from advertisers’ budget cuts as they struggle with inflation and rising interest rates.

Meta in the third quarter saw its profits fall to $4.4 billion, a 52 percent decrease year-over-year.

Meta’s stock price took a major hit on the disappointing results, falling 25 percent in one day.

The company’s market value over the past year is down to $600 billion.

In addition to its ad-supported business woes, investors have been worried about Zuckerberg’s decision to devote major funds into developing the metaverse.

Twitter slashes number of characters in workplace

Twitter Inc fired more than 90% of its staff in India over the weekend — part of global reductions by new owner Elon Musk — severely depleting its engineering and product staff in a potential growth market.

The company employed just over 200 people in India, and the cuts left it with just about a dozen staff, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

India is a key growth engine for global internet companies such as Twitter, Meta Platforms Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, which are relying on its large potential pool of new online users. Yet the companies are also facing increasingly strict content regulations aimed at reining in big tech firms in the country.

About 70% of the jobs cut in India were from the product and engineering team which worked on a global mandate, one of the people said. Positions were also slashed across functions including marketing, public policy and corporate communications, the people said. Globally, San Francisco, California-based Twitter reduced its headcount by about half or roughly 3,700 workers.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

India has one of the most febrile political conversations on Twitter, with competing parties regularly slinging allegations back and forth and accusing each other of spreading misinformation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has more than 84 million followers on the service. It’s unclear how Twitter expects to moderate that discourse with its newly reduced staff in the country, which has more than 100 languages.

Twitter’s India offices are located in New Delhi, the financial capital of Mumbai and the southern tech hub of Bengaluru.

The company has about 3,700 employees remaining globally, Bloomberg News has reported. Musk is pushing those who remain to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines.

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