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Meta warns employees of ‘serious times’ in internal memo listing key product bets

‘We are in serious times here and the headwinds are fierce’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Meta is warning of “serious times” and preparing for a leaner second half of 2022, according to an internal memo circulated to employees this week. The note comes from chief product officer Chris Cox and outlines the company’s priorities and challenges to its business going forward.

“I have to underscore that we are in serious times here and the headwinds are fierce,” Cox wrote in the memo obtained by The Verge and published in full below. “We need to execute flawlessly in an environment of slower growth, where teams should not expect vast influxes of new engineers and budgets.”

The biggest revenue challenge comes from privacy changes affecting Meta’s ad business and macroeconomic pressures, Cox says in the memo, which was first reported by Reuters. Cox says monetizing Reels, the company’s short-form video TikTok copy, “as quickly as possible” is a key priority.

Cox also lays out six areas where he believes Facebook needs to deepen its investments. These include metaverse products; AI; messaging; continuing to push Reels; monetization; and meeting new privacy requirements. Cox says teams will have to “prioritize more ruthlessly” without the help of new staff or budgets.

Meta had already told employees that a slowdown was coming. In May, the company froze hiring across a number of teams, including teams working on shopping and video chatting products. The company’s stock has cratered over the past five months, as investors worry about slowing growth and expensive investments in the metaverse that may take years to pay off. Meta didn’t have a comment for this story.

Read the full memo below: