Snapchat Shutters Web3 Team Amid Staff Layoffs

Snapchat is going through a company-wide restructuring which will see a staff reduction of 20%.
Image source: Snapchat

Quick take:

  • Jake Sheinman, one of the founders of the Web3 team has left the company after four years.
  • The company restructuring comes after its Q2 earnings results missed expectations.
  • It will still continue working on AR initiatives.

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc. has made decisions to sunset its Web3 team amid a company-wide restructuring that will reduce staff by 20%. The news was revealed on Aug 31 by Jake Sheinman, who was one of the founders of the Web3 team.

“After ~4 years at @Snap, today is my last day. As a result of the company restructure, decisions were made to sunset our web3 team. The same team that I co-founded last year with other pirates who believed in digital ownership and the role that AR can play to support that,” Sheinman tweeted.

The Financial Times reported in July that Snap would be experimenting with letting artists show off their NFTs as AR filters on Snapchat as “lenses,” the company’s names for its AR effects. 

To do so, artists will create and mint NFTs on another platform and then import them to Snapchat. The FT report also stated that the feature will be free to use and gives artists a way to monetise their work. The feature was set to be tested with a small group of creators last month.

Snap has also been working on its high-tech glasses, called Spectacles, which would allow wearers to play games or project a hologram on a real life-surface. The company will continue working on its AR initiatives even after closing its Web3 team.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel listed AR as one of its priorities. “We are restructuring our business to increase focus on our three strategic priorities: community growth, revenue growth and augmented reality,” he said in an Aug 31 letter to employees. “Projects that don’t directly contribute to these areas will be discontinued or receive substantially reduced investment.”

The company posted a $422 million loss in Q2, missing analysts’ expectations, and said that it will substantially reduce the rate of hiring.

“Our forward-looking revenue visibility remains limited, and our current year-over-year [quarter-to-date] revenue growth of 8% is well below what we were expecting earlier this year,” Spiegel added.

Earlier this week, Meta launched a feature that will allow Facebook and Instagram users to share NFTs across both platforms by connecting their wallets to either of them.

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