CNBC reported that when Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram began its cost-cutting spree in late 2022 and amped it up this year, it affected Instagram influencers in negative ways.
According to CNBC, as part of the company’s two rounds of layoffs, equaling roughly 21,000 job cuts, Meta gutted wide swaths of its customer service operation, leaving influencers and businesses with nobody to contact about their accounts.
According to former Meta employees and documents filed to the U.S. Department of Labor, many of the layoffs affected staffers in client support, customer experience and communities.
CNBC spoke with influencers, small businesses and Meta account managers as well as a half-dozen contractors and former Meta employees about the deterioration in customer service at the company since the job cuts began in November. Taken together, they tell the story of a company whose quick pivot in late 2022 from rapid expansion mode to forced contraction had an outsized impact on parts of the business that don’t generate revenue.
CNBC also reported that the slashing of customer service has left Meta unable to address user issues ranging from people being locked out of their accounts to software bugs not getting fixed in Facebook Groups. It’s long been a challenge for Meta, given that Facebook and Instagram are used daily by billions of people. In August, Meta’s vice president of governance, Brent Harris, told Bloomberg News the tech giant was looking to improve its support.
In addition, CNBC notes that, according to a screenshot shared with CNBC, Facebook notified group administrators on Jan. 19 that Groups Support would no longer be available as of Jan. 23. The message with the headline “Saying goodbye to Groups Support,” didn’t provide an explanation for the change and referred administrators to various help pages and resources in case they experienced technical problems.
Also according to CNBC, Meta shares lost two-thirds of their value last year as year-over-year revenue dropped for three straight quarters. The struggling ad business coincided with Zuckerberg’s effort to pivot the company to the nascent metaverse, a futuristic proposition that’s costing billions of dollars every quarter.
Some of CNBC’s article features Instagram influencers who are being taken advantage of by nefarious people who are hoping to make money off of a popular influence’s photos. People take photos of influencers and use them to make a fake account – likely in the hopes of tricking people to send them money – because they person doesn’t know the account is not legitimate.
I don’t use Facebook, but I do have an Instagram account. It is a private one, which allows me to post my art in a place where my friends can see it. I don’t accept friend requests from strangers, in part, because there is always a chance that an artist’s work could be stolen from them.
In my opinion, this entire situation, which is causing chaos on Instagram and harming Groups on Facebook, did not need to happen. Meta should be putting in effort to prevent account stealing, but it appears the company just doesn’t care what happens to their users.