Despite Troubles, Meta Still Paying Technologists Huge Salaries

Meta (formerly Facebook) faces some significant challenges in the coming months and years. The company seems to regard the rise of TikTok as an existential threat—but its attempts to emulate TikTok’s UX have been met with protests by users. Meanwhile, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pouring billions of dollars into the “metaverse,” a proposed ecosystem of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps—but it could be many years before this initiative becomes profitable.

In the most recent quarter, Meta’s revenue and earnings dropped, and its stock price has tanked. “This is a period that demands more intensity and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources,” Zuckerberg told investors on the company’s latest earnings call.

If Meta hopes to survive and prosper, it will need its technologists to deliver its best work. Fortunately, the company still seems willing to pay hefty salaries to talent, according to this latest breakdown from levels.fyi, which crowdsources technologist compensation data:

Of course, compensation isn’t the only reason why technologists choose to work for a particular company. A company’s culture is always an important factor, along with the composition of a technologist’s team; if they don’t like the corporate mission or their co-workers, they’re less likely to stick around. Amenities are also a big deal to many technologists—although Meta is reportedly determined to sacrifice some key ones in the name of cost-cutting.

Over the past several months, through internal calls and via his subordinates, Zuckerberg has made it clear that Meta is on war footing—the intensity will increase, resources will decrease, and some employees may find themselves out of a job if they can’t deliver. Some technologists respond well to that kind of pressure; they do their best work when their company faces an existential threat. But others don’t like that kind of atmosphere at all, and they’ll jump ship for a company where the pace is a bit more reasonable.

As a result, the challenge facing Meta is twofold: It must navigate the broader market and fend off rising competition from well-funded tech giants… but it must also persuade its technologists to stick around. Huge salaries can help with the latter, but huge salaries aren’t everything.