Discord faces layoffs as CEO says it grew too quickly cover image

Discord faces layoffs as CEO says it grew too quickly

A report by The Verge details layoffs at the game-centric communication platform.

Voice calling and messaging app Discord will apparently lay off 17% of its near 1000-strong workforce. News of the layoffs was distributed via an internal memo which was first reported by The Verge’s Alex Heath, after an all-hands meeting at the company on Jan. 11

According to the memo, the layoffs come as Discord attempts to “sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization.” Within the memo, CEO Jason Citron explains that Discord had grown too quickly: “We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020. As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated.”

The memo detailed how Discord the 170 employees who were affected by the layoffs would receive five months salary and benefits, three months of outplacement services, access to their health care provider for a year, and the vesting of any equity by Feb. 1.

The CEO stressed that this was a decision made to “best position to continue building a strong and profitable business that delivers amazing products for our users and supports our mission for years to come.”

A full version of the memo can be found on The Verge.

Discord lays off 170 staff

(Image via Discord)
(Image via Discord)

Discord is the latest in a long line of layoffs in and around the gaming space. Most recently Unity and Twitch announced significant cuts as the organizations attempt to cut costs in the new year.

Discord, which primarily started as a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and text messaging service for gamers, has grown decisively into a fully fledged social media platform. Increasingly, workplaces, online communities, and others have utilized Discord as an easy-to-use method of mass communication. In 2017, the app had nearly 100 million users. That number is closer to 200 million today.

However, as Discord has grown, it’s faced controversy as a haven for extremists, cyber-bullying, and darker elements of online communication. Beyond this, there is an underswell criticism of Discord as a poor replacement for older forms of online community management. In 2022, numerous articles and posts attempted to highlight the fact that Discord was “killing” online forums, and replacing them with an un-archivable dead-end. In response, Discord started its own forum platform, but criticism persists.

Now Discord will have to navigate another all too familiar element of the gaming space: Layoffs. With a depleted team, the platform will need to address its doubters, and secure its nebulous userbase.

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