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At Facebook Meeting, Mark Zuckerberg Annoyed Over “Vacation Days” Question: Report

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently held a virtual meeting with employees of group firm Facebook, where he appeared annoyed over a question about vacation days, according to a report in The Verge. The meeting was held on June 30, around the same time Mr Zuckerberg announced plans to slash hiring of engineers by at least 30 per cent and warned them to brace for a deep economic downturn. He told employees that he’s anticipating one of the worst downturns in recent history.

But at the Q&A session, identified as Gary by the news outlet, asked: Would Meta Days – extra days off introduced during the pandemic – continue in 2023?

The Verge said Mr Zuckerberg appeared visibly frustrated and said “Um … all right,” after hearing the pre-recorded question. “Given my tone in the rest of the Q&A, you can probably imagine what my reaction to this is,” he further said, according to the outlet.

After this year, Meta Days were cancelled, the report further said.

In the same meeting, the Meta boss also said that the company would be implementing higher standards for its employees and asking those who were unable to meet the new standards to leave.

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“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Mr Zuckerberg said in the June 30 call, according to a recording obtained by The Verge. “And part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might just say that this place isn’t for you. And that self-selection is okay with me.”

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The Verge said that the interaction led to a barrage of comments on Workplace, the company’s internal took for employees. “This is war-time, we need a war-time CEO,” one wrote. “Beast mode activated,” a second employee posted.

Others were, however, shocked to hear that some employees will be asked to go. “Who hired them?” asked one of them, according to the report.

News agency Reuters had reported earlier this month that Meta has reduced its target for hiring engineers in 2022 to around 6,000-7,000, down from an initial plan to hire about 10,000 new engineers.

In addition to reducing hiring, Mr Zuckerberg had also announced leaving certain positions unfilled in response to attrition and “turning up the heat” on performance management to weed out staffers unable to meet more aggressive goals.

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Tech companies across the board have scaled back their ambitions in anticipation of a possible US recession, although the slide in stock price at Meta has been more severe than at competitors Apple and Google.

The world’s biggest social media company lost about half its market value this year, after Meta reported that daily active users on its flagship Facebook app had experienced a quarterly decline for the first time.

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Instagram Story Time Limit Increased to 60 Seconds: Report

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Instagram is reportedly increasing the time limit for Instagram Stories to 60 seconds, from the earlier limit of 15 seconds. Previously, Instagram Stories that were longer than 15 seconds would be broken up into separate segments. The social media company is said to have begun testing the change with select users towards the end of last year. Earlier this month, Instagram rolled out parental supervision tools and Family Center in India. Meta had announced the parental supervision tools and the Family Center tool back in March. The company was recently slapped with EUR 405 million (roughly Rs. 3,200 crore) fine for violating strict European Union data privacy rules.

According to a recent report by TechCrunch, Instagram confirmed that it is increasing the time limit of Instagram stories to 60 seconds from the earlier limit of 15 seconds. Previously, if a user had posted a video longer than 15 seconds, it used to get broken up into smaller segments. This made the process of uploading videos to Instagram Stories more challenging, including tagging and mentioning other users.

As mentioned earlier, Instagram is said to have begun testing the new change with select users towards the end of last year.

Earlier this month, Instagram also rolled out parental supervision tools and Family Center in India. The Family Center is a place for parents and guardians to access supervision tools and resources from leading experts. These tools will let them see the screen time spent by their kids on Instagram and impose time limits. The new parental controls are part of Meta’s attempts to protect children who actively use its social media apps.

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Instagram was recently slapped with a EUR 405 million (roughly Rs. 3,200 crore) fine for violating strict European Union data privacy rules. The Meta-owned social media platform was found mishandling the personal information of teenagers. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission’s investigation revealed that Instagram displayed the personal information of users between the age of 13 and 17 years. Instagram’s parent Meta said it disagrees with the way the fine was calculated and has expressed its desire to appeal the fine imposed by the regulator.

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Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal Said to Postpone Depositions Ahead of Upcoming Trial

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk won a reprieve from questioning by Twitter lawyers Monday, according to several press reports. The billionaire had been scheduled to give a deposition in his high-stakes court fight with Twitter over whether he has to follow through with his agreement to buy the social platform for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,465 crore).

Instead, Musk’s questioning was postponed to a future date. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who was also scheduled to face Musk lawyers on Monday, likewise postponed his deposition, according to a person who was briefed on the matter.

The Musk postponement was reported by Bloomberg, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, all of which attributed the information to anonymous sources.

News of the postponements fueled a brief rally in Twitter shares, which jumped 5.4 percent to $43.03 (roughly Rs. 3,500), apparently on hopes of a settlement in the case. That enthusiasm waned later in the day. Twitter shares closed Monday at $41.58 (roughly Rs. 3,300), eight cents higher than they opened.

Court watchers said that such postponements are not unusual ahead of major pretrial hearings. A hearing on several significant pretrial motions is scheduled for Tuesday.

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Both men were expected to answer questions posed by opposing lawyers ahead of an October trial that will determine who is at fault for the seeming collapse of Musk’s Twitter bid, not to mention who owes whom large sums of money as a result. The trial is set to begin October 17 in Delaware Chancery Court, where it’s scheduled to last just five days.

Musk, the world’s richest man, agreed in April to buy Twitter and take it private, offering $54.20 (roughly Rs. 4,180) a share and vowing to loosen the company’s policing of content and to root out fake accounts. In July, he attempted to back out of the deal, leveling a number of charges at Twitter as justification for his action.

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Twitter subsequently sued Musk to force him to complete the acquisition.


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WhatsApp Call Links Support Rolling Out, 32-Member Group Video Call Testing Also Begins

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WhatsApp on Monday announced that it will roll out Call Links later this week.

By Gadgets 360 Staff | Updated: 26 September 2022 18:33 IST

WhatsApp Call Links Support Rolling Out, 32-Member Group Video Call Testing Also Begins

WhatsApp on Monday announced that it will roll out Call Links to allow users to start a new call or join one with a single tap. The Meta-owned messaging service will make it easier for users to share call links when the feature rolls out later this week. WhatsApp will also begin testing group video calls for up to 32 people.

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