Some Meta Employees Working on Metaverse Projects Earning Up to $1 Million
The Washington Post is reporting that some Meta employees working on its metaverse projects, mainly programmers, are earning salaries of up to a million dollars.
The Post is reporting that programmers working on Meta’s virtual reality-powered games, apps, as well as technology, are earning anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million. The report cites people familiar with the matter who shared the information on the condition of anonymity. The compensations, according to the report, are double or more than double what typical large gaming companies pay their employees.
The highest packages at Meta go to highly skilled developers and technical team leaders. However, these high compensation packages are still only a fraction of the billions Meta is pouring into its metaverse projects every year. Last year, Meta spent more than $13 billion on its Metaverse projects.
Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg believes XR represents the next frontier of computing that will even replace smartphones and laptops and eventually take the place of in-person communication. To demonstrate its commitment to this technology, the company even rebranded from Facebook to Meta, which sparked an industry-wide interest in the metaverse.
However, the company is incurring a steep cost for those ambitions and has even faced pushback from many of its investors. Last year, in a cost-cutting measure and as part of a restructuring effort, Meta laid off more than 11,000 staff across all its departments representing 13% of its workforce then. The layoffs even affected its high-priority metaverse department. Last month, the company announced that it was laying off a further 10,000 staff in downsizing and restructuring efforts.
In an indication that the company will be keeping an eye on its costs moving forward, Zuckerberg stated that 2023 will be a “year of efficiency” and the company is planning to downsize its middle management and make cuts on superfluous projects.
Meta’s former human resources staff told the Washington Post that Meta’s super high salaries for its VR developers are part of a broader trend where it is ready to outspend its competitors by a mile to attract top talent for wide-ranging jobs.
Meta’s business is still overly reliant on digital advertising and the company has not been spared from the adverse global economic environment.
Meta is also facing stiff competition in the advertising market from new players in the social media space such as TikTok. Meta’s advertising revenue base was also adversely affected by new Apple privacy rules, the war in Ukraine as well as rising inflation, all of which have added to the market instability. Many digital advertisers have responded to this by pulling back some of their ad spend on social media.
Meta’s new drive towards a leaner and more efficient operation forms part of a larger wave that has impacted tech companies, many of which are laying off employees and rolling back investments in key projects in a bid to cut costs in the current economic climate.
In recent months, both Google and Apple have slashed thousands of jobs. A number of Silicon Valley startups are also making cutbacks. The Post reports that the tech industry has slashed at least 332,614 jobs in the last two years.
Zuckerberg explained that the company’s increased investments in the pandemic era were guided by overly optimistic projections on the growth of the ecommerce market and, subsequently, advertising revenue post-pandemic.
Meta reported that 20% of its spending in 2022 went into Reality Labs, the company’s XR division. Its regulatory filings show that last year, Reality Labs lost $13.7 billion, more than the $10.2 billion that the company lost in 2021.
These billions have been channeled into various XR projects. Last year, it launched the Meta Quest Pro headset, a high-end virtual reality headset that is priced at $1,500. The Quest Pro headset targets professional and corporate use cases.
Meta has also invested heavily in research that aims to improve the underlying technology of the hardware to offer users a realistic sense of presence in metaverse experiences.
In the recent past, Meta has acquired some seven odd virtual reality studios in a bid to expand its range of immersive content. Before it rebranded itself to Meta in October 2021, the company had planned to recruit a fresh batch of 10,000 new staff for highly skilled jobs within the EU over the next five years. Some of these were to be metaverse jobs.
Meta admits its metaverse play will take years to materialize as it has to literally build the underlying technology for the metaverse.
Meta’s current research effort is focused on augmented reality glasses and mixed reality experiences. Although Meta’s hardware is dominant, the company’s devices are yet to go mainstream. While it is making spending cuts at Reality Labs, Meta is still committed to its metaverse ambition and is willing to cough large sums to attract top talent.
The Washington Post reports that VR developers who joined Meta in the past nine months earned an average of $538,800, putting them in the top 90% percentile when it comes to compensation. This is more than the $495,400 that Apple pays its top-grossing developers and the $440,000 that Google pays its virtual reality programmers, according to data by Levels.fyi that tracks salaries in the tech industry. The data shows that the three leading tech companies -Apple, Meta, and Google- paid comparable salaries.
As more companies join the XR industry, Meta is increasingly facing tough competition for top virtual reality talent. Apple’s headset is coming later this and PlayStation launched a new virtual reality headset early this year. There are also a bevy of upcoming startups that may offer developers attractive compensations although these are unlikely to match Meta’s financial muscle.
Meta generally offers its employees a better total compensation package that includes bonuses and stock options according to the data. Over the past year, there was some volatility in Meta stock that added to some uncertainty for prospective candidates and its workers alike. The company also faced difficulties hiring top talent after suffering reputational damage from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the use of its platform by Russian operatives to influence the 2016 presidential election.https://virtualrealitytimes.com/2023/04/07/some-meta-employees-working-on-metaverse-projects-earning-up-to-1-million/https://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/A-Meta-headset-600x400.pnghttps://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/A-Meta-headset-150x90.pngBusinessMetaThe Washington Post is reporting that some Meta employees working on its metaverse projects, mainly programmers, are earning salaries of up to a million dollars. The Post is reporting that programmers working on Meta's virtual reality-powered games, apps, as well as technology, are earning anywhere from $600,000 to $1 million....Rob GrantRob Grant[email protected]AuthorVirtual Reality Times