Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced plans to cut 40% of its workforce.
The company is expected to report a loss of up to $1bn in its second quarter, and in an attempt to cut costs by 50% it will lay off 4,500 employees.
BlackBerry also intends to shift its strategic focus away from the consumer market, instead focussing on its business customers that are still loyal to the brand. In a statement chief executive Thorsten Heins said: "Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user”.
Last month the company announced that it was considering selling itself, although some now believe that this latest news will reduce the likelihood that a suitable buyer will be found.
BlackBerry is widely known as the company that pioneered the smartphone market and at one point in 2006 it had a market capitalisation of $83bn.
However, since then the brand has declined considerably amongst consumers, as YouGov CEO Stephan Shakespeare explained just last month.
Naturally, the demise of a one-time industry leader has meant the brand has received considerable negative attention, and this latest announcement extended that trend.
Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMA, we can see BlackBerry’s increased Twitter activity following its latest announcements.
On 20 September 52.6% of UK Twitter users were exposed to a mention of BlackBerry on their feeds, compared to 16.9% the previous day.
SoMA is unique in its ability to offer insight into exactly what demographic audiences were exposed to a mention of the brand. For example, on 20 September 63% of those that heard about the brand were male, 17% were from London and 20% were aged 45-54.
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