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What Twitter, Facebook, and Other Social Media Giants Pay Developers

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Within global social media companies, great changes are taking place. With Jack Dorsey stepping down as CEO of Twitter, the social network could evolve in new directions in the years to come. Facebook is reorganizing itself into “Meta” and devoting enormous resources to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Meanwhile, ByteDance (owner of TikTok) and Snap are trying to gobble up as much market share as possible.

Given this unique inflection point, it’s worth taking a moment to examine the compensation of software engineers at the biggest social media companies. The following breakdown is generated vialevels.fyi, which crowdsources its compensation data. (While crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific way to figure things out, we generally trust the numbers from level.fyi because they match data presented by other sites like Glassdoor.)

What can we conclude from this decomposition? The pay is roughly the same for newbie developers at all of the major social media companies, although some companies tend to prioritize stocks a bit more than bonuses. If you’re a technologist interested in working in social media and want to get the most out of your pay, that’s good news, because you have your pick of companies that are all set to pay well.

The big question is which long-term business strategy interests you most. With Dorsey’s resignation, the question remains open as to how Twitter will adjust its focus under new CEO Parag Agrawal, who previously served as CTO. Agrawal has worked on a variety of projects within the company, including AI and machine learning initiatives. Considering this, knowing AI and machine learning can only prove to be an advantage if you apply for any type of position on Twitter.

At Facebook (er, Meta), employees will collectively focus their efforts on bringing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” to life. In light of this, a solid understanding of virtual reality and augmented reality skills could only help your chances of landing a job. (Skills essential to the development of virtual reality include Python, C ++, principles of project management and software development, as well as the documentation and SDK for the Oculus platform of Facebook.) Proficiency in technologies related to the “Metaverse” will likely translate into substantial salary increases as well.

Snap also regularly produces new AR products, for which it offers its own SDK. And if you’re into the social, you can’t ignore how ByteDance’s TikTok might evolve in the years to come. Whichever path you choose, a career in social media development can pay big dividends, although the use of social media sometimes raises serious moral dilemmas.