Mic, a millennial-based news organization, is finished. The $60 million venture that started out as PolicyMic laid off most of its staff and will reportedly sell the rest of the company to Bustle Digital Group. The fate of Mic, like many media startups, including the right-leaning Independent Journal Review, was pegged to one thing: Facebook. The social media giant, which Mic dependent on traffic, changed its algorithm and it struggled to tread water after that (via NBC News):
Started in 2011 as PolicyMic, the company was founded by Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz and raised about $60 million in venture funding. It soon established itself as a millennial-focused news organization that found success with social media-friendly articles and bite-sized videos.
But after Facebook tweaked the algorithm that decides what shows up in its News Feed, Mic and other digital publishers struggled to find a viable business.
Many Mic employees announced their departures on Twitter.
Mic CEO Chris Altchek announced the layoffs at a staff meeting this morning. Until today the company had employed more than 100 people. I’ve asked Mic to provide details on the layoffs, including the total number of people who will lose their jobs.
Facebook recently cancelled a deal with Mic to publish a news video series. People familiar with the company say that move removed a crucial source of revenue and scared away potential acquirers and investors.
PolicyMic was one of the many sites I contributed to when I first started blogging. So, to those who dealt with my more right-leaning posts, thanks for tolerating me, I guess. It’s sad any time someone loses their job, except in special circumstances. You could probably figure out who those people are, but now-Mic was part of the journey that led me to Townhall. And, as I said, some good friends at IJR met a similar fate due to Facebook’s algorithm changes. It impacts all. For now, Mic is finished.