Across-the-board Twitter layoffs at the company’s San Francisco headquarters and in satellite offices are reportedly planned for as early as Monday, with significant numbers of employees possibly getting the axe as part of a corporate cost-cutting effort.
Twitter has about 4,000 employees in San Francisco and about 35 venues across the world, about 50 percent of whom are high-paid engineers. Some critics claim the organization has become too bloated in terms of headcount. Halfway through the year 2013, Twitter had only about 2,000 workers on the payroll.
The rumored major layoff is apparently one of the first initiatives of boss Jack Dorsey, 38, a Twitter co-founder who was serving as interim CEO as of July 1 before getting the job on a permanent basis about a week ago. Dorsey continues to simultaneously serve as CEO of Square, a mobile payment company.
As part of this purported retrenchment, Twitter is also apparently abandoning plans to expand its office space in the Golden Gate city.
“Dorsey takes the reins at a critical moment for the micro-blogging company. The stock value of Twitter is low and dropped another three percent after the layoff announcement hit the media. With strong competition from apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram, Twitter must find new ways to be attractive for advertisers and investors,” Tech Times explained.
On his Twitter feed, which has more than three million followers, Dorsey wrote last week that “we’re working hard at Twitter to focus our roadmap on a few things we can make really great. And we’re strengthening our team along the way.” He also described Twitter as “the most powerful communications tool of our time.”
Spending necessary to run the company in its current form supposedly increased 37 percent in the last year, totaling $633 million, according to Tech Times.
Separately, Twitter recently announced that it plans to drop the 140-character limit on Tweets once new enabling technology goes into implementation. On October 6, it launched Twitter Moments, new functionality that provides a way to help less tech-savvy users navigate trending topics on the platform.
Re/code was the first news outlet to report on the rumored impending Twitter layoffs.
“Twitter is planning company-wide layoffs next week, according to multiple sources. It’s unclear how much of the staff will be culled, but insiders say it will likely affect most, if not all, departments. The downsizing comes at the same time Twitter is restructuring its engineering organization to make it leaner and more efficient, these sources say. It’s likely that many of those impacted by the layoffs will be engineers, which make up about half the staff.”
Responding to the Twitter layoff claims, a company representative said that “We’re not commenting on rumor and speculation.”
According to a New York Times story on the impending belt-tightening, Twitter, among other issues, is falling short of attracting new users, which is a component of the company’s financial woes.
“At Twitter, many of the cost-cutting measures came into focus during a recent planning process for 2016, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans. Executives had just finished the discussion, these people said, and decided that trimming the fat from Twitter’s rapid expansion over the last two years would be necessary…The layoffs will most likely affect multiple areas of the company, including the engineering and media teams, according to the people with knowledge of the plans.”
In June, Dorsey deemed second quarter results “unacceptable” and vowed to “ensure more disciplined execution,” Business Insider noted, while also pointing out that several executives and staffers have already moved on.
Although unpleasant for the workers affected, layoffs are unfortunately hardly unusual in the business cycle in general. That being said, are you surprised that Twitter layoffs are on the horizon given the apparent popularity of the social network? If you are a Twitter user, are you more or less active on the social media site than previously?
[Feature photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News]