TikTok Begins Layoffs as Part of Potentially Far-Reaching ‘Reorganization’ Plan

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Photo Credit: Eyestetix Studio

TikTok has reportedly started laying off team members on both sides of the Atlantic as part of a potentially far-reaching reorganization.

Word of the popular (and controversial) short-form video-sharing app’s cutbacks came to light in LinkedIn posts from impacted employees as well as a report from Wired. According to the latter outlet, the ByteDance subsidiary’s “global restructuring” may bring about staff reductions in the EU, UK, and US alike.

Predictably, given these layoffs, TikTok has also shelved plans to expand several of its teams, per anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter. One individual informed Wired that the cuts are being driven by the broader economic climate, with another signaling that they will affect just 100 or so of the company’s approximately 10,000 worldwide employees.

But other evidence suggests that the cost-saving initiative could ultimately claim far more than 100 jobs, or roughly the same number of positions that ByteDance itself axed upon closing a Shanghai game studio one month ago.

In a LinkedIn post, now-former TikTok monetization product leader David Ortiz announced that his “role is being eliminated in a much larger re-organization effort.” (TikTok refused to comment on Ortiz’s mentioning “a much larger re-organization effort.”)

“Working at TikTok has been quite a ride!” the TikTok veteran Ortiz proceeded. “Two and a half years ago, I was the very first hire outside of China, in my product and engineering org, tasked to build the entire international product management team from scratch and spearhead the development of engineering offices in San Francisco and Singapore.”

(“To the 10’s of media outlets that have contacted me about TikTok’s Data Privacy Concerns: I’ll make a few statements after seeking some legal advice,” Ortiz concluded his post.)

TikTok’s layoff round arrives just weeks after the company abandoned global build-out plans for a livestream shopping experience that had debuted in the UK. Of course, the wider tech sector’s shrinking ranks have made more than a few headlines in recent months, with multiple TikTok/ByteDance recruiting professionals having encouraged laid-off individuals to reach out for job opportunities on LinkedIn during the past couple weeks alone.

Time will tell whether TikTok’s trimmed staff (and the overarching goal of reducing costs) will impact the platform’s relevance and perceived long-term earning potential in the music industry. As it stands, though, a number of artists are using the app in search of compensation and promotion, and it was only last week that Beyonce added her music (and a personal account) to the service.