The time to get aggressive is right now—that’s the gospel of Mark Zuckerberg

Amid growing nervousness in Dublin over the downsizing of big tech companies, attention is beginning to focus on one company in particular – Meta.

The owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is in the process of cutting costs by 10 percent, with staff being cut by restructuring departments, according to US reports.

This, he says Wall Street Journal in its shovel, will be a “prelude” to “deeper cuts”.

The reasons for this have been well aired. Meta’s big moneymakers – Facebook and Instagram – are being hit hard by the rise of TikTok.

“Some of you might decide this place isn’t for you – and I’m fine with that choice.”

As if that didn’t hurt enough, Apple’s recently introduced “Ask app to not track” feature has slashed Meta’s ad revenue by as much as $10 billion.

And then there’s the stuttering progress of Meta’s big new thing – the Metaverse.

Despite billions of dollars spent developing the platform, there is still little to show. The hum – the intangible element that is often so crucial when a new technology sets sail – seems to be missing. Today, the metaverse is more often used as a punchline than as a prophecy.


Mark Zuckerberg with his Metaverse avatar in October 2021

All of this has caused Meta’s valuation to fall from over €1 trillion last year to €380 billion now, a much steeper decline than most of its big tech peers. Meta’s top executives are very, very concerned.

“If I had to bet, I’d say this could be one of the worst downturns we’ve seen in recent history,” Mark Zuckerberg said at a summer staff meeting, according to leaked audio.

To what extent can the Irish base weather this storm?

So far, there is no sign that any of Meta’s 3,000 employees will be laid off. However, there have been multiple reports of some contractors — who make up about half of the 6,000 people who eventually work at the tech giant — having had their contracts terminated or their roles transferred.

“There are probably some people in the company who shouldn’t be here.”

The net result could be a smaller overall employment footprint for Meta in Dublin.

“Realistically, there’s probably a lot of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Zuckerberg said, according to the leaked audio.

“Part of my hope in raising expectations and having more aggressive targets and turning up the heat a bit is that I think some of you might decide this place isn’t for you — and that self-selection is okay with.” me.”

How deep will these cuts go? Could the company move from “self-selection” and contractors to employees — be it “restructuring,” “transfer,” or simple layoffs?

Or could it be even more fundamental? Does Meta have an existential crisis that could threaten their core presence here despite their snazzy new headquarters in Ballsbridge?

Despite its popularity, WhatsApp makes almost no money for meta in Europe

Hiring freezes and layoffs are not uncommon in the tech industry – even if Dublin has endured one of the longest bull runs in the state’s history. It is crucial that the basic requirements for climbing with the rebound are still given.

As the boss of Dublin’s biggest tech employer, Google’s Adaire Fox-Martin, explains today (see interview, page 4), Dublin still has enough infrastructural and deserved advantages to largely see it through any possible downturn.

But logically, that only applies to companies whose offerings are still popular, relevant, and making money. Does this still include meta?

In many areas of our lives, yes. WhatsApp seems as unassailable as ever – over 70 percent of us use it, mostly every day. It is Ireland’s national SMS and communications utility.

Ironically, WhatsApp makes almost no money for meta in Europe as it is not allowed to substantially monetize the encrypted messaging service with any cross-referencing on Facebook or Instagram.


The meta rebranding took place in October 2021

Facebook still has a core audience, albeit increasingly older adults.

Of the main Meta platforms, Instagram seems to be in trouble. Under TikTok’s siege, it is desperately trying to conform to the Chinese social platform’s fundamental approach — spreading viral videos instead of content from friends and family.

Meta’s challenge is that this annoys at least as many people – who want to see their friends and family – as it pleases. The emerging numbers don’t look good.

When it comes to bold moves in reorganizing the company, Zuckerberg won’t shy away from it

So the coming months will be a crucial time for Meta in Dublin. If business doesn’t show signs of recovery soon, the company will be under a lot of pressure to keep saving.

That’s not because Zuckerberg is committed to investors (he still controls most of the company’s stock). It’s because he’s too smart to be irrelevant. He will have no intention of being seen as Nokia or MySpace, unaware of his own company’s downfall.

The time to get really aggressive, he says, is now. And if that means bold steps in the realignment of the company – from the regional locations to employee activities – he doesn’t shy away from it.

Of course, other factors also play a role. The housing shortage is making Dublin a difficult place to work and live for some – including parts of Meta’s employee ecosystem.

The ability to admit staff from other European countries may yet prove to be a significant factor in the totals employed here. But this problem faces most technology companies.

Let’s see if Meta ends up cropping more than its competitors. The time to get aggressive is right now—that’s the gospel of Mark Zuckerberg

Fry Electronics Team

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