The iPhone toy camera app Hipstamatic has just laid off three developers, a designer, and a writer, according to a former employee and as reported by TechCrunch and The Next Web. The laid-off employees are irked and are being pretty vocal. "And to be frank this is the best thing, it became apparent that we were spiraling the drain," former Hipstamatic developer Jonathan Wight tweeted today.
Hipstamatic's parent company, Synthetic, says Hipstamatic has four million users and is on track to make $22 million in revenue this year. Hipstamatic costs $1.99 in the app store, and users can pay for extra features from within the app. Back in March, Hipstamatic and Instagram struck up an agreement to let Hipstamatic users export their photos to Instagram, which was seen as a coup. The app hasn't laid fallow, either; Hipstamatic was updated in July. Hipstamatic is also trying to recapture its early traction in the fashion world by partnering with the industry publication W.
Still, it's impossible to deny that Hipstamatic has been eclipsed by the breakout success of its (free) competitor Instagram. Today Instagram released version 3.0 to its 80 million users as Facebook jockeys to close its $1 billion acquisition of the company. Meanwhile, Hipstamatic's former employees are bitterly job hunting via Twitter.
"We are definitely not winding down, and are very much here to stay," Molli Sullivan, Hipstamatic's director of communication, told The Verge in an email. "It is not true that the entire tech team was laid off, and the original team that built Hipstamatic is still hard at work, making products for the world and our awesome community."