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Discord lays off 17% of staff, joins growing list of tech job cuts in 2024


Discord, the widely used communication platform, is planning to lay off 170 staff members, constituting 17% of its workforce. In an internal memo acquired by The Verge, CEO Jason Citron stated that the decision aims to “sharpen our focus and improve the way we work together to bring more agility to our organization.”

Discord’s popularity surged during the pandemic, particularly among younger individuals. Citron mentioned in the memo that the company expanded its workforce by five times since 2020. However, this rapid growth led to decreased efficiency, prompting the need to refocus their efforts.

Despite its popularity, Discord is currently funded by venture capital and has yet to become profitable. The company aims to bridge this gap in the coming year. Having raised approximately $1 billion and still possessing over $700 million, Discord does not appear to be in immediate financial trouble.

There have been rumors about Discord going public, but there are no indications of this happening anytime soon. The company turned down a $12 billion acquisition offer from Microsoft in 2021.

Tech industry workforce reduction

The Discord layoffs are part of a series of major job cuts announced in 2024 within the tech industry. Google recently laid off hundreds of staff, while the games platform Unity implemented a 25% workforce reduction as part of a restructure. Similarly, Amazon-owned Twitch reduced its staff by 35% during the same week. Many companies cite an inability to sustain the levels of demand experienced during the pandemic as a driving factor for these cutbacks.

Amid these uncertainties, Duolingo has parted ways with contractors to focus on AI-generated translations. The increasing precariousness of working in technology is evident, with some areas of the gaming industry achieving success through unionization, as seen with the group at Zenimax negotiating the terms of AI use. This could potentially become a growing trend in an industry where workers historically have had limited bargaining power.

Featured image credit: Discord

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