‘Massive’ Facebook hiring freeze and 40% decline in stock price is partly Apple’s fault, says CFO

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Facebook has announced a “massive” recruiting freeze that would effect “virtually every unit across the corporation.”

According to parent firm Meta, four reasons influenced the decision, with Apple’s launch of App Tracking Transparency being the first of them…

A message written to all workers by chief financial officer David Wehner was obtained by Business Insider.

In it, he identifies four variables that are causing revenue growth to halt and expenses to rise. The first is Apple’s launch of App Tracking Transparency.

  • “IOS signal loss due to modifications”
  • Ukraine’s conflict
  • The “overarching macroeconomic environment”

Lockdowns are being relaxed, resulting in individuals spending less time online.
The first topic is about Transparency in App Tracking (ATT). This makes it more difficult for marketers to target individuals with particular interests, as well as for Facebook to demonstrate the effectiveness of its advertising.

Facebook has consistently complained about the effect on its ad strategy, stating falsely that it was worried about small companies rather than the multibillion-dollar impact on its own earnings. The memo, on the other hand, paints a different narrative.

We’re dealing with difficulties such as weaker sales growth than projected at the start of the year. This is due to a variety of issues, including signal loss caused by iOS modifications, commercial problems caused by the Ukraine conflict, and the broader financial situation. Furthermore, since pandemic limitations have been eased, more individuals are spending time offline and reverting to pre-pandemic buying behaviors.

This was followed by a message from global recruiting chief Miranda Kalinowski, in which she said that engineering positions will be severely impacted.

We’re still figuring out what this means for each organization, but it will have an impact on recruiting targets for practically every team throughout the firm. Based on this updated information, we know we need to revise our recruiting goals across the board, beginning with Eng[ineering].

She claims that most engineering recruiting would be halted immediately, with no new job offers issued save for positions labeled ML IC5+ and IC7+, which seem to indicate more senior jobs in machine learning.

Wehner’s message, as is customary when huge corporations announce bad news, tries to conclude on a positive one, mentioning the company’s efforts to restore data lost due to ATT.

We’re in a good place with a healthy business, and we’re excited about the opportunities to re-accelerate growth, particularly by unlocking new revenue streams through Reels monetization, incorporating AI into our ad system to overcome signal loss from iOS changes, expanding business messaging, and bringing the metaverse to life. But we must also be prudent in reacting to the volatile market factors that have placed pressure on our firm in recent months. In reality, this is a useful forcing mechanism to ensure that we’re all prioritizing well and focusing on the most critical things.

Apple has long maintained that the move is about giving customers the option to safeguard their own privacy, and that it only has an effect on Facebook’s revenue if people opt out of monitoring.

We feel that sticking up for our users is all that is required. Users should be aware when their data is being gathered and shared between applications and websites, and they should have the option to approve or deny this. App Monitoring Transparency in iOS 14 does not need a change in Facebook’s method of tracking users and producing targeted advertising; it just requires that consumers be given an option.

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