Mobile Commerce

Layoffs Ahead For Twitter — And Snapchat, Too

Twitter

The layoff plan is officially in place for Twitter. And Snapchat.

CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed the Twitter news in a memo which was filed with the SEC and sent out to employees yesterday (Oct. 13). The news of the layoffs was first reported by Re/code late last week. Yesterday’s news confirmed that up to 336 people from across Twitter will be cut.

In his memo, Dorsey notes that he wanted to set the record straight on layoffs in order to avoid rumors and be more straightforward with employees. He said he wanted to avoid the “corporate speak” language and manner in which companies normally send out such news.

“The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong,” Dorsey wrote, pointing toward Twitter’s focus on its engineering side. “The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact.

“The roadmap is also a plan to change how we work, and what we need to do that work. Product and Engineering are going to make the most significant structural changes to reflect our plan ahead. We feel strongly that Engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team, while remaining the biggest percentage of our workforce. And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.”

In somewhat of an untraditional fashion, Dorsey emphasized that Twitter “will go to great lengths to take care of each individual by providing generous exit packages and help finding a new job.”

“This isn’t easy. But it is right. The world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there. As always, please reach out to me directly with any ideas or questions,” Dorsey wrote.

Snapchat also announced yesterday that it’s planning for layoffs ahead.

Snapchat recently shut down its original content segment and is laying off the 15-member team of the service, called “Snap Channel.” Among those leaving will be Marcus Wiley, a former Fox comedy executive.

“Given that we are winding down the Snap Channel, it’s natural that Marcus would want to explore other opportunities,” Snapchat said in a statement, provided to The Washington Post.

Snapchat’s partners will continue to run their content on the app. But for now, it looks like Snapchat’s foray into original shows and series — the differentiator of choice for services like Netflix and Amazon — is on hold.

Meanwhile, amid the layoff news, Twitter is prepping for the release of its third quarter earnings report, and the company is anticipating a strong quarter. With the restructuring expenses providing $5 million-$15 million, Twitter anticipates to see those savings reflected in the company’s end of year quarter.

As for its Q3 earnings, the company expects revenue of $559 million. Twitter will report its earnings after the bell on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Twitter, which went public in November 2013, had about 2,000 employees before it filed for its IPO but has since doubled to about 4,100 employees. Meanwhile, the company’s growth has continued to take a hit. For instance, the company user base has grown by less than 50 percent.

To revive its stagnating numbers, the company is also launching new products, such as Twitter Moments, which curates videos, pictures, Vines and gifs around trending content for users. The company has also reportedly partnered with news outlets, like BuzzFeed, Vogue, Mashable, Fox News, The Washington Post and The New York Times to curate Moments for their readers.

Recently, the company also officially launched buy buttons that allow users to buy content right off their Twitter feed with minimal steps involved.

Last month, as part of its bid to boost its eCommerce offerings, the company partnered with Square, also founded by Dorsey, to power $Cashtags, which allow users to donate money to their favorite candidates running in the 2016 presidential election.

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