Snapchat Engineering Layoffs

Posted on March 8, 2018

Reports are coming out that Snapchat is laying off around 100 engineers from their 3,000 person team.

That’s a sizable chunk of the media and app giant’s development arm. This is a shock to the startup world which sees Snap as a tech company that is heavily focused on internal products. Losing this many engineers will no doubt slow their releases and R&D.

With Snap struggling in its first year after going public, moves to reduce headcount seem like the first thing it would turn to. What’s shocking about this is that engineering team being the first to get the ax.

From my experience, the reduction of an engineering in a startup is a very bad sign. Speed and momentum are built by a startups’ engineering team. Without that, Snap is going to slow down their ability to pivot and respond to market changes.

Can Snap continue to innovate with its biggest competitors easily able to copy their innovative features and bring them into their own apps just as fast a Snapchat can roll those features out?

Part of me wonders if the poorly received redesign has something to do with these layoffs. With DAUs hurting due to the redesign, how will Snap redesign again to recapture this usage? No doubt the engineering team there now is pouring over data and working on a further revamped user experience.