Snapchat has permanently shut down its original content division known as Snap Channel and laid off 15 of the group’s employees.
The move represents Snapchat’s largest layoff in its four-year history. It comes as the company has been adding and dropping media partners within its Discover portal, an app feature that allows select outlets to push disappearing articles, pictures and videos.
The Snap Channel featured content produced by Snapchat, including a scripted drama named “Literally Can’t Even.” In a statement, Snapchat said it viewed the channel as an experiment and that it might attempt original content again in the future. In the meanwhile, the team working on Snapchat’s original content will depart, including former Fox Senior Vice President of Comedy Marcus Wiley, who led the effort as head of program planning and development.
Snapchat has been tinkering with its lineup of content channels since it launched Discover in January. The company booted Yahoo and Warner Music Group from Discover and replaced them with BuzzFeed and iHeartRadio in July. Yesterday, it added women’s lifestyle media company Refinery29 and in the coming months it reportedly has plans to add political news content from Vox.
Publishers on Discover keep 70 percent of revenue they earn from selling their own advertisements or 50 percent revenue for advertisements that Snapchat sells on their behalf. With advertising sales active for about 11 months now, Snapchat has reached a valuation of $16 billion.
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