Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) said on Wednesday it would cut more than 11,000 jobs, or 13% of its workforce, in one of the year's biggest layoffs as the Facebook parent battles soaring costs from its push into the metaverse amid a weak advertising market.
The mass layoffs, the first in Meta's 18-year history, follow thousands of job cuts at other major tech companies including Elon Musk-owned Twitter and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).
The pandemic-led boom that boosted tech companies and their valuations has turned into a bust this year in the face of decades-high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates.
"Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I'd expected," Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a message to employees.
"I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that."
"I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here," Zuckerberg said in a note to staff.
"I know this is tough for everyone, and I'm especially sorry to those impacted."
Ad-supported platforms such as Facebook and Google are suffering with advertisers looking to cut costs as they struggle with inflation and rising interest rates.
Zuckerberg told staff he had expected the boost in e-commerce and online activity during the Covid pandemic to continue, but added: "I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that."
The downturn has affected companies across the sector, with Apple and Amazon also recently announcing results that disappointed investors.
But Meta also faces some unique problems of its own.
Investors have been worried about Zuckerberg's decision to devote billions of dollars to developing the metaverse, an immersive version of the web accessed via virtual reality headsets.
Zuckerberg renamed the company to Meta a year ago to reflect the commitment to the project, but the division working on metaverse technology has since made losses of more than $3.5 billion.
He has hinted several times this year that belt-tightening measures were just around the corner and said in his letter on Wednesday that staff layoffs were a "last resort".
Meta would also keep a hiring freeze going into next year, he said, and other spending cuts were envisaged.
"Fundamentally, we're making all these changes for two reasons: our revenue outlook is lower than we expected at the beginning of this year, and we want to make sure we're operating efficiently," he wrote.
Last month, Meta announced profits of $4.4 billion in the third quarter, a 52 percent decrease year-on-year, causing its stock price to fall 25 percent.