As Facebooks advertising business continues to grow globally, the social networkis also streamlining operations in certain markets. TechCrunch has learned that Facebook is consolidatingsales operations in Europe focused on small and medium businesses. In the process has cut30 jobsincluding inHamburg, according to a source among those cut.
Thecuts are of support staff that werecontracted from a third party.
30 is a small proportionof Facebooks overall employee count of15,724 (as of the end of September). Its notable for a company that has not made regular practice of laying people off.
Its not clear what thesubtext might be for this latest cut, if any.
Facebooks support to Small and Medium Businesses in Germany remains unchanged. To the contrary, over the past year, we have been ramping up our SMB efforts across Germany. This included founding the industry initiative Digital Durchstarten, which will continue in 2017. The next event in Mnster will be taking place tomorrow.
From what we understand, thecompanys SMB directorin Europe, Middle East and Africa,Stefanos Loukakos, who isbased out of Facebooks global headquarters in Dublin, made the cutstoconsolidateSMB operations across fewer locations.
Our source said that theHamburg office covered Facebooks SMB business, selling ads in Facebook and Instagram in German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria and Switzerland); as well as Turkey and Israel regions that will now be covered from SMB sales offices in Dublin and Lisbon.
There will still be SMB activity in Hamburg and across Germany, where Facebook doessome marketing outreach to SMBsin the form of online content and events.
Othersmall rounds of layoffs this year have pointed to bigger thematic changesat the company. They included around 40 peoplegoing in the wake of Facebookrestructuring parts of itsad-tech business, specifically at LiveRail, which has since been shut down.
There were also reportedly around 15-18 contractorslet go who had been working on Facebooks Trending team, a group tasked with curating news for Facebook. News has been a problematic area for the social network for a while, but its come into the spotlight especially this year, as many have accused Facebook of being a haven fordisseminating fake news. Facebooks still trying to fix this.
Turning back to todays news, inSeptember, Facebook announced that it had hit 4 million advertisers on its platform, and while it does not break out specific numbers or the performance of specific regions, its been long understoodthat small and medium businesses form a large part of that base, both in the U.S. and internationally.
But over the years, there have been sometense moments between Facebook and SMBs, as Facebook has sought to build out more of its paid ad products over organic reach (that is, unpaid distribution) on the platform.
More generally, Facebookhas been shuttering parts of its ad business that are seeing less activity. Just last week, itclosed down the ad-serving part of its Atlas platform to focus on Atlass measurement tools.
In the German market, Facebook has not been astranger to regulatory heat, specifically from the countrys data protection watchdog. In March, it became the subject of an antitrust privacy probe, and in September Germany was the first countryin Europe to order Facebook to stop tapping into data from WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook. (Thatsnowextended to all of Europe.)
Story updated with quote from Facebook and further detail about nature of cuts contractors versus full-time staff.
Read more: https://techcrunch.com