Meta Is Reorganizing Facebook to Be Like Instagram Amid Further Layoffs

Meta Is Reorganizing Facebook to Be Like Instagram Amid Further Layoffs

  • The Facebook platform is the oldest at Meta and by far has the largest headcount.
  • Facebook is expected to see layoffs amid Mark Zuckerberg’s new mandate to “flatten” the company.
  • The plan “to become more efficient has not been finalized,” a Meta spokesperson said.

The organizational structure of Facebook is set to look closer to that of Instagram as a new mandate at Meta to remove layers of management takes shape.

Facebook, founded by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg twenty years ago, is in the process of being further streamlined, two people familiar with the company told Insider. The company’s goal is to have Facebook’s structure more closely resemble that of Instagram, the people said, as Zuckerberg looks to cut costs and declares 2023 to be the “year of efficiency.”

Another round of layoffs at the company is expected, likely affecting around 5%-10% of the company’s employees, as Insider first reported. The Facebook platform, which has the most employees of any segment at Meta, is expected to be impacted by the cuts given Zuckerberg’s new mandate of “flattening” the organization overall. Cuts already occurred within Facebook in November, when Meta enacted its first ever mass layoff, letting go of 11,000 employees throughout the company.

“It’s not surprising,” another person familiar with the company said of plans to change the structure at Facebook. “Incentives have always been about how big your department could get, how many people a manager could hire.” The culture at the platform has made it the victim of “bloat,” the person added, even though that’s been “painful for many” at the company to realize as investors have come to prize leaner cost structures in an uncertain economic climate.

“In November, after Mark said publicly we were restructuring teams across the company, the Facebook app team reorganized to better align with the org’s priorities and goals,” A Meta spokesperson said. “This reorg isn’t new, nor is it ongoing. And while we’ve been public about planning to flatten our org structure and remove some layers of middle management to become more efficient, that work has not been finalized, nor has anyone’s role been impacted as part of that effort yet.”

The current organizational structure at Facebook is essentially what’s known as “a matrix” model, one of the people familiar said. The model traditionally promotes cross-collaboration at large companies through multiple managers from different parts of the company and regions, with different purviews, overseeing the same projects simultaneously.

Zuckerberg said earlier this month he no longer wants his company to be one of “managers managing managers,” adding that less managerial hierarchy will make Meta “a more fun place to work.” A former employee admitted Meta simply has “too many” managers as of now, often creating a bureaucratic environment.

Instagram’s structure is said to be closer to the “functional” org model, which is essentially vertical. Employees are grouped by area of expertise and report directly to a top manager or executive. It’s more siloed but increasingly considered more efficient because decisions can be made more quickly. Despite efforts in the earlier years of Instagram, which Meta acquired in 2012, to have it grow quickly and operate more like Facebook, the photo app remained “less bloated” than Facebook, another former employee said.

“This is about getting rid of so many sub-product groups at Facebook,” one of the people familiar said of the reorganization.

Within that is a clear path to reduce headcount, as well. Facebook alone has nearly 40,000 employees, while Instagram’s headcount is closer to half that, at around 20,000 people, according to one of the people familiar with the company and Linkedin data. Yet, the bridge between how many people use each of the apps is much smaller. Instagram has about 1.9 billion, monthly active users. Facebook’s monthly active users are about 2.9 billion. So, an app within Meta has two-thirds of Facebook’s user base, along with features like Reels that are paramount for the company’s future growth plans, with half the employees. 

Changes to Facebook’s overall structure have been happening since Meta’s November layoff, as Insider reported. Yet, in recent weeks, many managers have been told they are having their teams taken away, effectively being demoted to become an “individual contributor,” a current employee said. 

“Folks with years of management experience are being told they have to train on a position they haven’t done in years,” the person said. “Worse, it’s putting them in direct competition with the people they were once managing.”

While many people who do not want to take a demotion have asked about the possibility of taking severance instead, Meta said no, the person added.

“They’re trying to force people to quit,” the person added. “But if you quit, you don’t get severance. And with the job market now, people feel stuck.”

Are you a Meta or Snap employee, or someone else with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected], on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device

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