Stack Overflow, a programming question-and-answer site, laid off more than 100 employees, or 28 percent of its workforce. Founded in 2008, Stack Overflow was sold in 2021 for $1.8 billion to Prosus, the investment arm of Tencent's majority shareholder Naspers, which controls 28.9% of Tencent, one of Europe's most valuable technology companies. Stack Overflow doubled its workforce last year, but with ChatGPT's popularity, website visits fell sharply, and CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar announced layoffs due to profitability difficulties. The largest division of the company is the marketing team, which accounts for 45% of the total.
Prashanth Chandrasekar, CEO of Stack Overflow, the world's largest coder-answering site, announced in a blog post on Monday that the company had laid off about 28 percent of its employees.
Just before ChatGPT launched last year, Stack Overflow doubled its workforce.
According to statistics agency growjo, Stack Overflow has 790 employees, so it expects to lay off 221 employees
Prashanth Chandrasekar said the layoffs were mainly due to a significant reduction in the size of the marketing department, in order to increase investment in the company's products, especially the generative AI tool "OverflowAI" that was launched in July.
OverflowAI is not a single product, but a collection of generative AI capabilities, including updated AI search on the public website and Stack Overflow for Teams for the enterprise, as well as the Enterprise version of OverflowAI Visual Studio Code extensions and Slack integration.
OverflowAI is considered Stack Overflow's programming aid for the challenges of generative AI models such as ChatGPT. From April 2021 to April 2022, the Stack Overflow community maintained around 20 million page views, while from April 2022 to July 2023, the number of views fell to around 9 million, a drop of about 50% in a year and a half. Many believe that the emergence of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, has accelerated this downward trend.
As the world's largest Q&A website for programmers, Stack Overflow has always been loved by program developers for its accurate problem solving and high-quality answers. However, the emergence of ChatGPT has disrupted many application fields, including Q&A and search.
Just a week after ChatGPT went live, its powerful question-answering capabilities attracted a lot of attention, especially in terms of code generation, which can generate fully usable code snippets. At that time, some netizens said that ChatGPT could replace search engines such as Google and programming Q&A communities such as Stack Overflow.
But soon, Stack Overflow announced a ban on ChatGPT because "ChatGPT has a high error rate of answers, but it's hard to see where it's wrong", which creates a mixed answer.
Now, almost a year after ChatGPT came out, Stack Overflow has experienced a rapid decline in views, developed its own generative AI tool OverflowAI, and now has laid off a lot of employees, and generative AI models have finally set off an industry change.