- Thought Catalog has let go of “a handful” of editorial staffers focused on producing social content following Facebook’s latest News Feed algorithm change.
- Thought Catalog publisher Chris Lavergne confirmed the layoffs to Business Insider.
- But he added that Thought Catalog had been weaning itself off of Facebook for a while, and had instead started focusing on e-commerce, real estate, and multimedia content production.
The company has let go of “a handful” of editorial staffers, according to people familiar with the matter. Thought Catalog publisher Chris Lavergne confirmed the layoffs to Business Insider, saying fewer than 10 staffers who focused on producing social content were let go.
“Unfortunately, we had to tell Facebook-oriented staff that their content wasn’t economically sustainable,” said Lavergne. “And that we had to focus on growth areas of the business.”
The layoffs come at a time when the online publishing industry faces increasing headwinds, with companies trying to figure out sustainable business models in a digital ad market ecosystem dominated by Facebook and Google.
Specifically, it comes on the heels of Facebook announcing that it would prioritize “meaningful interactions” on the News Feed, effectively deprioritizing publisher content. The move sent shockwaves through the industry, and even led to some casualties, such as the shuttering of publisher Little Things.
But Lavergne was quick to point out that Thought Catalog had been weaning itself off of Facebook for a while.
“We’ve been saying that our focus hasn’t been Facebook — or even the trend of social publishing for a long time,” said Lavergne. “Facebook content peaked in late 2015 and in 2018, it really isn’t our core focus; just one of many tools.”
Instead, Thought Catalog has shifted its focus to retail, real estate, and multimedia content production. Last year, for example, it launched a social network called Collective World and acquired a photo agency called God & Man. It continues to double down on e-commerce as well, through Shop Catalog.