Same old logo.Image: georgie wileman/getty imagesBy Kerry Flynn2018-03-29 14:04:44 UTC
Snapchat’s staff is disappearing.
Snap Inc. is laying off about 100 employees, Bloomberg first reported on Thursday, in its latest step to restructure the company after aggressive hiring over the last few years.
This round of layoffs is focused on the advertising team and comes after Snap’s decision to layoff about 120 engineers earlier in March. Snapchat also laid off 22 employees in the content department in January.
Layoffs never look good at a company, and for Snapchat, it comes at a time when celebrities like Chrissy Teigen have abandoned the app. Teigen took issue with Snapchat’s regrettable decision to run an insensitive ad asking users to “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown.” Other high-profiles users like Kylie Jenner and MKBHD have spoken out against the recent redesign.
But Snap’s recent moves to cut staff from several departments isn’t completely surprising, given the company’s aggressive hiring and a previous company memo from Snap CEO Evan Spiegel about focusing on quality in the product and in the staff.
Imran Khan, Snap’s chief strategy officer, said in a statement shared with Mashable:
“Over the past two years our company has grown a tremendous amount. Late last year we asked senior leaders across Snap to look closely at their teams to ensure they had the right resources and organizations to support their missions. As a result, new structures have been put in place for Content, Engineering, Sales and many other parts of Snap. These changes reflect our view that tighter integration and closer collaboration between our teams is a critical component of sustainably growing our business. While this process has required us to make some really tough decisions, we believe that rigorously ensuring our team structure always aligns with our goals will make us stronger.”
Spiegel also had shared similar sentiment in the fourth quarter earnings call:
“Over the past two years, we hired over 2,400 people—roughly 100 new team members every month. While it was critical to build our team to keep pace with the growth of our business, it has become clear that we can now unlock substantially more productivity simply by changing the way that we work and by continuing to build an inclusive and creative culture. As such, we plan to moderate the growth of our team over the next year and focus on making sure that we have the right team, leadership, and organizational practices in place to support our culture and our mission.”
Cuts in the advertising department, in part, aligns with Snapchat’s push to sell ads more programmatically rather than through direct sales. As of the last quarter, 90 percent of Snap Ads were served programmatically, up from 80 percent in the previous quarter. The total number of advertisers buying programmatically doubled from the third quarter to the fourth.
That move to programmatic has helped Snapchat’s revenue growth. Snapchat reported better than expected earnings for the final quarter of 2017 with both its user growth and revenue growth were accelerating, according to the report. Meanwhile, competitor social networks Facebook and Instagram still far exceed Snapchat in overall user numbers and in revenue, even with the #DeleteFacebook movement.
Snapchat reported it had 3,069 employees during its last quarterly earnings report. The company declined to provide an updated number.