Snapchat parent company lays off workers

Victoria Kenney

Snap Inc., which originally pushed to increase its staff and launch new business ventures, announced layoffs in a memo on Aug. 31.

Snap owns the popular, subsidiary social media platform Snapchat. Appealing to teens and celebrities, the app’s main feature allows users to connect through exchanging fleeting photos and messages that disappear after a certain amount of time.

The layoffs affected 20% of the company, totaling 1,200 workers. This cut is a reversal from Snap’s spring drive, when the company added employees and introduced new projects.

Some of these projects included a Snapchat “Originals” series featuring gymnast Simone Biles and another about drone compatibility. These projects have since slowed down, leading the company to drop its “Originals” programming.

Snap announced in 2020 that it would hire more employees in proportion to its latest projects, assuming there would be a slow decline in the market and looking to diversify its services. The assumption was loose financially and did not yield on the safe side of the market’s impact.

Concurrently, Snap dealt with a significant decline in sales development since it went public. In a harsh contrast, the company increased employment by 65% before backpedaling in May.

In a company memo, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel explained the changes, citing an unpredictable future and a push for long-term success in his reasoning. The company’s underperforming revenue is expected to persist into next year.

“We saw challenges on the horizon, and hedged our bets accordingly, but still got punched in the face hard by 2022’s new economic reality,” Spiegel said in the memo obtained by The Verge.

“We have decisively entered a new era, and we must adapt and overcome to succeed in this new reality,” Spiegel added.

Spiegel mentioned possible growth opportunities for the company, including the continuation of Snap’s venture into augmented reality.

The layoffs will vary per sector, based on who the company no longer needs.

Spiegel did offer laid-off employees a 4-month compensation package, financial aid and continued benefits while finding new work. Snap also invited other companies to hire the workers in a LinkedIn post.

The company also announced Jerry Hunter as its new chief operating officer in the memo.

Since the announcement, the price of Snap stocks decreased by 75% compared to the beginning of the year. The company suffered from its worst financial turmoil in the second quarter.