Editor's note: Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel sent the following note to Snap Inc. employees on September 27, 2023.
We have made the difficult decision to wind down our AR Enterprise business. After exploring our options over the past few months, it became clear that it would take significant incremental investment to grow our enterprise offering for retailers and we simply cannot make that investment at this time.
Several things have changed since we first began pursuing our AR Enterprise strategy. First, we believed that we could primarily leverage our existing mobile AR technology. Over time, we also learned that we needed to invest incrementally to support web-based augmented reality which is both technically complex and less-engaging for our customers. Second, the advent of generative AI has made it easier for companies of all sizes to create try-on experiences for their customers and made it harder for us to differentiate our offering. Third, our business performance has reduced our capacity to invest in this incremental opportunity as we have had to focus our resources on our core advertising business.
While we have faced setbacks in our AR Enterprise strategy, we will continue to invest in supporting our CameraKit partners and the millions of people around the world who use augmented reality experiences powered by our AR platform. We have also identified new opportunities to grow our Sponsored AR business on Snapchat and will continue to help our clients reach Snapchatters with unique and immersive augmented reality experiences.
While some AR Enterprise team members will remain at Snap to support CameraKit, Sponsored AR advertising, and the more than 250 million people who engage with AR every day on Snapchat, approximately 170 team members will no longer work at Snap. We will do our best to support the team members who are leaving our business by providing severance packages and outplacement needs, and by rehiring team members into open roles where possible.
I am deeply grateful for the hard work of our AR Enterprise team. It is very difficult to create a new business, and incredibly painful to wind it down, but it is the willingness to take risks and try new things that moves the world forward through innovation and experimentation. The courage and strength of our AR Enterprise team members embodies so much of what I love about Snap and I am so sorry that this venture did not work out as we had hoped. Leading in augmented reality means that sometimes we will fail, and I am proud that our team dared to build this business even if we did not succeed.
Please join me in thanking the AR Enterprise team for their extraordinary efforts.