On Tuesday, Tumblr announced that it was laying off its entire editorial team responsible for its Storyboard service. A year after the company created the team of journalists and editors to help cover it as a “living, breathing community”, founder David Karp said that Tumblr’s experiment had come to an end.
When the group was first assembled, it was going to be led by editor-in-chief Chris Mohney and executive editor Jessica Bennett, who came over from The Daily Beast. The idea would be that Storyboard would be about user-generated content on Tumblr, as well as the users themselves. Bennett herself tweeted just recently about her department’s demise:
— Jessica Bennett (@jess7bennett) April 10, 2013
The surprising move comes a month after Bloomberg reported that Tumblr expected to achieve profitability this year. According to the company’s head of sales Lee Brown, “We expect that the monetization will lead us to profitability this year.” Most of its revenue would come from paid post promotion on Tumblr’s mobile apps, which ranks as the 50th most-used iPhone app in the US.
The company has stated previously that it had $13 million in revenue in 2012 and hoped to increase that astronomically to $100 million this year, an increase of 769 percent.
As Karp says in his post:
After hundreds of stories and videos, features by publishers ranging from Time to MTV to WNYC — not to mention a nomination for a James Beard Award and entries into this year’s NY Press Club Awards — we couldn’t be happier with our team’s effort. And as Tumblr continues to evolve, we’ll always be experimenting with new ways to shine light on our creators.
No word yet on where any of the team members are going.