A latest Facebook algorithm change appears to have affirmed a high-profile casualty: LittleThings, a digital publisher concentrated on inspirational and how-to content for women, which shut down yesterday.
I wrote about the company at the start of 2016, when it invested debt funding from City National Bank. At the time, it looked to be flying high, becoming one of the biggest lifestyle publishers online and, as per one report, publishing the single most popular Facebook post in 2015.
But things were a bit hard in recent months, according to a staff memo from CEO Joe Speiser that was reported by Business Insider. Evidently there were “especially large setbacks” in August of last year, and while LittleThings managed “to quickly right the ship, and rebuild the company with new business lines and revenue streams,” Speiser started speaking to greater media organizations about an acquisition.
Then Facebook made another great alteration to its algorithm, one that was supposed to prioritize content from friends and family over news publishers. Speiser said this cut LittleThings’ influencer and organic traffic (which was its most valuable traffic) by 75 percent.
He mentioned, “No previous algorithm update ever came close to this level of decimation.” He also wrote, “The position it put us in was beyond dire. The businesses looking to acquire LittleThings got spooked and promptly exited the sale process, leaving us in jeopardy of our bank debt convenants and ultimately bringing an expedited end to our incredible story.”
Speiser stated that he is anticipating to find some way to resurrect the LittleThings brand in the future. In the meantime, the company is done.
Featured Image: LittleThings
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