Twitter is firing hundreds from its workforce again

Can’t keep them all.
Can’t keep them all.
Image: Reuters/Kacper Pempel
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‘Tis the season to lay off workers at Twitter.

The microblogging site could fire 8% of its workforce as early as this week, anonymous sources told Bloomberg. Roughly 300 employees, mostly from the sales teams, could be fired around the time it reports earnings on Oct. 27. The move comes after the struggling site failed to sell itself to Salesforce, Disney, and others, because of it’s rampant troll problem and stalling growth.

The timing and the size of the cuts this time around are not set in stone yet, the unnamed sources told Bloomberg. But their scale mirrors the slimming efforts made in October last year, when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as chief executive officer. Back then, the layoffs mostly affected workers in the product and engineering teams.

Twitter has taken investors on a roller coaster ride. After Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn in June, its stock climbed 14%. When Twitter co-founder Ev Williams fueled speculation of a possible acquisition in late Aug., shares jumped 6%. Overall, though, the stock’s performance has been dismal, falling from over $30 a year ago to $17 or so now.

Twitter, which has yet to turn a profit, forayed into live-streaming of National Basketball Association games this year, and partnered with Bloomberg TV to live-stream the Republican and Democratic national conventions. And it launched initiatives like Moments and Twitter Engage, but these failed to alleviate its user growth problem. Tried-and-tested stickers, that are widely used in apps like WeChat and Facebook Messenger, haven’t made much headway either. To be fair, the company has made strides in sweeping out ISIL-affiliated posts, but it’s still struggling to curb homegrown extremism.

Unfortunately, all these efforts have done little to breathe new life into the site. Employees are caught in the crosshairs.