TikTok is Laying off employees

Staff cuts come to TikTok

Instagram is hard at work trying to become TikTok, but all is not well with the ByteDance app.

Last week, TikTok doled out pink slips as part of a restructuring of TikTok’s ad sales business, according to reports from Insider and The Information.

  • Employees working on brand strategy and operations were affected, Insider reported.
  • The layoffs were part of a shift to a vertical-based model handling industry categories like fashion and beauty, according to Insider.
  • At least 20 employees were let go, one laid-off TikTok employee told Insider. (TikTok would not confirm the figure to Insider.)

Why it matters: The layoffs suggest that TikTok, which has been lauded as the social media industry’s latest ✨golden child✨, isn’t immune to economic uncertainty.

There’s a chance TikTok won’t hit its $12 billion ad revenue target in 2022, even after two years of an ad-employee hiring spree, per The Information. Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s head of ad sales, recently acknowledged in an internal memo that the revenue goal was “aggressive” and said that the team had a “harder year,” The Information reported.

Meanwhile: TikTok’s competitors are also undergoing layoffs and facing business headwinds. Last month, Meta—which has raced to build out features to better compete against TikTok—reported its first-ever decline in quarterly revenue, and some staff are bracing for cuts. On Tuesday, The Verge reported that Snap is planning to cut 20% of its workforce.—PB