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What do the Twitter and Meta layoffs mean for your social media platforms?


It’s a turbulent time for social media. Twitter laid off 3,700 employees, Snap cut its workforce by a fifth and Facebook owner Meta confirmed 11,000 layoffs, or 13% of its global workforce.

It affects almost all major social media platforms. Meta owns Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, while some interpret Elon Musk’s moves with Twitter as the equivalent of flying a plane straight down to the ground. Musk himself has suggested that Twitter could go bankrupt.

TikTok has its own issues and has cut its ad sales target by $2 billion. All of this raises questions. Is the most lucrative era of social networks over? Will your favorite platforms implode, leaving you wandering Tumblr like a lost soul?

All of these layoffs are bad news for the quality of your online experience. As most moderators are fired, there will likely be an increase in Twitter trolls – and scammers. Already there has been a huge increase in people claiming to be celebrities, with the the blue tick is anyone’s for less than a ten. Scammers also pose as businesses, to steal your details and plunder your accounts. We will also see many features that we previously enjoyed disappear. And, ultimately, could that spell the end of social media as we know it?

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on.

Why are all the big social media companies imploding?

Headlines from Twitter, Meta and Snap about staff “layoffs” are part of a broader tech downturn that has been discussed for months. Microsoft announced about 1,000 layoffs in October, for example.

This is partly caused by global economic conditions. But its effects on social media companies have been compounded by other factors.

Meta plans to invest $100 billion in the metaverse concept over a five-year period. That’s a lot of money, even for Meta. It’s an attempt to create or find the “next big thing” in technology, but what Meta has to show so far is largely horrific and depressing – so uninspiring that even his own staff doesn’t seem interested. Facebook’s years of exponential growth are long behind it, and its use by younger generations has declined dramatically over the past half-decade.

Conversely, the companies suspended advertising on Twitter following its acquisition by Elon Musk. Ad spend typically declines in tough economic conditions, and Musk has managed to make a difficult situation much worse.

Will social networks go even further?

One of the concerns about this poor outlook for social media companies is that the platforms will actively get worse: fewer new features, worse protections for users against the ever-growing threat of scams, and more content. horrible slippery net due to content moderation cuts.

Signs of the latter are unfortunately already appearing on Twitter – a platform already notorious for allowing fake news to be retweeted halfway around the world before the truth can even get going.

When Elon Musk cut Twitter’s workforce in half, he apparently removed employees working on, among other things, human rights, machine learning ethics, accountability, conservation and accessibility. More recently, it has been reported that 80% of its subcontractors have been made redundant — a “significant portion” of which will be in content moderation, according to UCLA’s Dr. Sarah Roberts.

For Twitter – a site already semi-affectionately dubbed “Hellsite” by its most avid users – things could quickly go downhill, especially with the site now allowing anyone to get verification for $8 a month – something that was previously designed to help users identify legitimate sources.

Things are looking a bit brighter for Facebook and Instagram — though that’s partly in comparison to Twitter’s very public scorched-earth transformation.

It’s also because Meta has a lot more fat to cut beyond its core services of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Two of the first reported casualties relate to equipment: Portal — its videoconferencing cameras and smart displays — and a brand new smartwatch. Similarly, Snap would have reduced teams working on tangential experiences like games and apps, as well as its hardware division.

Meta Portal canceled

/ Meta

But such cancellations can only take you so far, and what we don’t know is how many of the remaining cuts will also fall on the household types that make the platforms a (relatively) nice place to post.

In his post announcing the layoff, CEO Mark Zuckerberg simply said the company would shift resources to “a smaller number of high-priority growth areas,” including its AI discovery engine, advertising, and its… global vision of the metaverse. Notably, there was no mention of user experience.

But even if moderation and customer services remain largely intact, features could still be removed as too unpopular and/or expensive to maintain. In August, Meta announced its intention to close its “direct purchases” function after overestimating its value during the pandemic, for example.

Currently, Meta’s social media platforms feel significantly more stable than Twitter, under management that doesn’t publicly treat the task as a game or a joke. However, we are clearly seeing a sea change in the way these platforms operate behind the scenes, testing the confidence of figureheads who have spent much of their lives being called geniuses. And it’s hard to believe that it won’t impact the base experience one way or another.

Could social media sites shut down?

Does Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter mark the beginning of the end?

/ Brian Lawless / PA

It’s possible. While most sites don’t openly entertain such ideas until they’re unavoidable, Elon Musk suggested that Twitter – a company he said was losing $4 million a day when he took over succession – could be headed for bankruptcy. In an email to company staff, he said ominously that it may not be able to “survive the coming economic downturn”.

What would that mean? A company files for bankruptcy when it can no longer meet its financial obligations. And in a classic case, the company goes into liquidation, it ceases its activities and its assets are sold. In this scenario, that would be the end of Twitter.

However, Twitter could also file for reorganization bankruptcy, where Musk would continue as a trustee and try to raise more money to keep Twitter afloat. This is known as a “Chapter 11” bankruptcy in the United States, and may be a more likely outcome if the worst happens and Musk doesn’t just use overly dramatic language.

Social Media Insights

Austerity is a rather new concept for these tech companies, and how they handle it will determine the future of these and other platforms.

A race for growth at all costs has left every social media giant vulnerable in its own way – which will only get worse if struggling people Online security bill never found its way into British law.

While brands with more to cut will likely weather the storm to some extent, it remains to be seen if they will have the same addictive pull for longer.

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