In its latest cost-cutting move, Meta announced the closure of the development of smart displays and smartwatches.
In 2021, it was reported that Facebook (now called Meta) was working on its own smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch, Fitbit, and other smartwatches in the market. It was expected to feature GPS and LTE which will allow users to constantly stay online and provide access to Meta’s services like Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
Scheduled for the 2023 launch, Meta’s smartwatch was deemed part of Zuckerberg’s ambition to control the next computing platforms after smartphones. However, it lacked support for the two biggest platforms, iOS, and Android.
Major reorganization underway at Meta as part of its unprecedented cost-cutting move
Since the launch of the App Tracking Transparency privacy feature on iOS 14.5, Meta has recorded a significant drop in revenue.
Earlier this month, the company laid off 11,000 people which made up 13% of its global workforce. Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the macroeconomic conditions, increased competition, ads signal loss, and his own poor decision led to the unprecedented cost-cutting move. He also said that the company would take additional steps to become a “leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1, 2023.”
Reuters reports that employees were informed of the company’s decision to stop developing smart displays and smartwatches at a recent town hall meeting. They were also told that reorganization was underway.
Meta executives also said they were reorganizing parts of the company, combining a voice and video calling unit with other messaging teams and setting up a new division, Family Foundations, focused on tough engineering problems.
Executives also confirmed that further job cuts were not expected.
The executives said that the first mass layoff in the social media company’s 18-year history affected staffers at every level and on every team, including individuals with high performance ratings.
The executives said further rounds of job cuts were not expected. But other expenses would have to be cut, they said, noting reviews underway about contractors, real estate, computing infrastructure and various products.
Like Meta, Apple has also paused hiring outside R&D as part of its efforts to deal with the potential economic downturn and to reduce budgets heading into next year.