VSCO opened their NY office just last year, with much fanfare, as their second office. What made the office unique was that it also housed a studio and space for collaborators and VSCO community members to use to shoot imagery. It is rather alarming to have the office shuttered so soon – though there is something to be said about failing fast vs dragging it out.
This looks to be the result of what was a tough year for VSCO which launched a completely redesigned app last year that was thoroughly panned by its community, and saw its rating on the app store plummet. Things looked to be turning around for the company after they released an update in November that addressed many of the problems the community had with the redesigned app. But the closure of the NY office could indicate things are not as good as they seem.
This brings VSCO down to two offices; their HQ in Oakland, and their satellite office in Denver which is the home to Artifact Uprising – the photo printing service they acquired in 2014. The TechChrunch report indicates that some of the NY staff were given offers to relocate to either of the other offices, but it is unclear how many took those offers and how many NY employees were given their pink slips.
As Instagram continues to consolidate its power in the mobile photosharing app space, it is leaving less and less room for the likes of more focused and niche apps like VSCO. It will be interesting to see the results of this employee centralization and how they utilize this to try and take on Instagram going forward.