In the early months of the pandemic, Facebook only grew bigger and more central to our lives. With lockdowns spreading, countless people began shopping, socializing and working on Facebook and other online platforms. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in March 2020, usage was so high that the company was “just trying to keep the lights on.”
Against that backdrop, Zuckerberg’s company went on a remarkable hiring spree. Facebook, which later rebranded as Meta, went from 48,268 staffers in March 2020 to more than 87,000 as of September of this year. In other words, it hired another Facebook’s worth of staff. And it looked like the company would only keep hiring to support its ambitious plans to build a future version of the internet called the metaverse.