Meta To Axe Staff In Reality Labs Unit Wednesday

Staff reductions reportedly underway at Metaverse-oriented Reality Labs Unit, otherwise known as Facebook Agile Silicon Team

Meta Platforms is reportedly undertaking another round of layoffs – this time impacting staff at it is Metaverse-oriented Reality Labs Unit.

The Reality Labs Unit, otherwise known as Facebook Agile Silicon Team (or FAST) is, according to Reuters (citing two sources familiar with the matter) making the layoffs on Wednesday.

The FAST division is responsible for producing Meta’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets, as well as associated software and recent AI initiatives.

Meta Quest 3 Headset.
Image credit Meta

FAST cuts?

According to the Reuters report, staff in the division were informed of the layoffs in a post on Meta’s internal discussion forum Workplace on Tuesday.

The post reportedly said staff would be notified about their status with the company by early Wednesday morning, one of the sources said.

A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the plans.

Reuters said it was not able to determine how many people are being laid off.

However it is known that Meta’s FAST division has approximately 600 staffers, and that job cuts at the unit had been expected since the spring, after Meta hired a new executive to lead the unit.

Year of efficiency

Meta has been shedding jobs for a while now.

In November 2022 Meta announced it was cutting about 13 percent of its employees, or roughly 11,000 jobs.

But then in Q1 2023 multiple reports suggested more job losses were on the way.

This was confirmed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March 2023, when he had informed staff that he had made the “difficult decision” to axe another 10,000 positions.

Zuckerberg had said in March that the bulk of this year’s layoffs would happen in the spring, but that “in a small number of cases, it may take through the end of the year to complete these changes.”

In April this year Meta Platforms confirmed it had begun laying off technical staff.

These job cuts were part of Meta’s efficiency drive after a tough 2022, where it contended with a post-pandemic slump in digital ads, coupled with heavy spending on the Metaverse that unsettled some investors.

Zuckerberg recognised this investor concern in February after Meta posted a notable decline in profits, coupled with a third straight quarter revenue decline, which led him to promise investors that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency”.