Codename P92. Almost twenty years after the launch of Facebook, Meta, which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp, is reportedly working on a new text-only social network in an attempt to replace Twitter as the "digital marketplace" of the world. "We are studying a decentralized, autonomous social network for sharing text updates," a Meta spokesperson told Reuters in an emailed statement.
Decentralized social networks rely on individual servers, avoiding centralized control of content and possible censorship. A model already adopted by Mastodon, Twitter's rival platform that has seen many users flee after the arrival of Elon Musk. According to rumors, Meta's new content app will support ActivityPub, the decentralized social networking protocol that powers Mastodon.
The new social network would be created as a standalone app, but could be accessed using your Instagram credentials. The conditional is a must given the uncertainty and the little information on the project, led by Adam Mosseri, but certainly it has always been in the company's plans to try to attract Twitter users, especially after Elon Musk changed the rules of the platform.
Facebook - Meta
New drastic staff cuts
Despite the rumors about the new project, it seems - as reported by Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal - that Meta, is planning a new wave of layoffs in the coming months that could eventually reach the same magnitude as the maxi cut implemented in November.
The new cuts, the first tranche of which is expected to be announced next week, will hit "non-engineering" roles particularly hard. In conjunction with the layoffs, the sources report, several projects will be scaled down or closed, including those on "wearable" devices, carried out by Reality Labs, the division of Meta that deals with the metaverse. Last year the company laid off 11,000 employees, 13% of the staff.
The new scissors to the workforce is linked to the financial targets that Meta has given itself and should precede Zuckerberg's parental leave, expected shortly for the birth of the third child. On the occasion of the quarterly results, the CEO has in fact defined 2023 as the "Year of Efficiency" with Meta focused on eliminating projects that do not have good performance or are no longer crucial, as well as becoming leaner and more agile in decisions by removing different levels of middle management.
If the November cuts were a cold shower for Facebook employees, the new scissors was expected given the difficult context in which Meta finds itself operating between a jump in expenses, a drop in sales and the persistent slowdown in advertising sales.
In addition to Meta, there is an air of crisis throughout Silicon Valley. Many Big Tech companies have cut jobs and are reviewing their investments, from Google to Twitter. The latest in chronological order was Amazon: the online sales giant has temporarily suspended the construction of its headquarters in Virginia, which it had announced in 2017, triggering a race among the major American cities to win the ambitious project, investments and promised thousands of jobs.