TikTok Reportedly Laying Off Workers as Part of Cost-Cutting Strategy

The tech industry layoffs sweeping companies over the past year have now reached TikTok. A spokesperson for the popular short-form video platform told NPR it has laid off around 60 employees, predominantly from sales and advertising teams across US offices in Los Angeles, New York and Austin as well as internationally. While framed as routine reorganization, NPR reported the cuts were made to reduce costs.

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance reportedly laid off hundreds at Marvel Snap developer Nuverse last year. TikTok itself conducted layoffs in mid-2022 citing global restructuring and again in early 2023 impacting Dublin recruitment staff. This latest round affects a tiny fraction of ByteDance’s 150,000+ global workforce, but as NPR notes, signals ongoing pain in tech.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently informed staff to expect more downsizing in 2023 as the company reallocates resources, “removing layers to simplify execution and drive velocity.” Amazon told Engadget its Buy with Prime division is cutting around 5% of roles. Video platform Twitch, owned by Amazon, laid off over 500 earlier this year to slash costs and increase efficiency.

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What’s next for Tiktok?

While the number let go at TikTok is comparatively small, it underscores how even wildly successful tech companies are impacted by current economic conditions. TikTok’s advertising business has boomed, but is clearly not immune to the need for belt-tightening shared industry-wide.

Layoffs are always painful, especially in uncertain times. But many companies view them as unavoidable to stay competitive. TikTok stresses these layoffs are due to reorganization, not financial duress. But their timing aligns with similar moves across tech to cut costs and weather challenging economic headwinds. For TikTok’s remaining employees, the atmosphere is likely unsettled. But the company hopes streamlining operations now will lead to future stability.