One of the world’s largest file-hosting sites on the Internet at a point of time, RapidShare has now fallen on troubled times. News has emerged that the site has laid-off nearly 75 percent of its staff to cut down on costs and work its way towards saving its reputation.
According to a report by Swiss portal 20 Minuten, despite the fact that 45 of its 60 employees are being laid off, RapidShare will not be shutting down. The company’s new CEO Kurt Sidler told the paper, “Unfortunately, we have to part with a number of employees. But RapidShare will continue to operate, and we have concrete plans for our future.”
Caution: Cost cutting ahead
RapidShare seems to be facing fatigue after having fought several long drawn battles regarding copyright infringements. While it was one of the world’s most frequented web-hosting services, it was branded a “rogue site” by the US government. The entertainment industry, which was tirelessly cutting down on P2P sharing of copyright material, brought RapidShare and other services like Megaupload in its line of fire.
Rapidshare reportedly spent round about 500,000 Euros to lobby in the United States in order to save its reputation. It also changed its business model to the “file-owner paid” one, in order to revamp its image and get closer to being a B2B service, in November 2012. Instead of users paying to get faster downloads, uploaders would pay to keep their data onto the site.
However, the mass layoff has raised quite a few questions about the health of the company. Despite getting into the cloud storage space for businesses, RapidShare’s sagging fortunes have not seen an upturn. Sidler is now the company’s fourth CEO in three years. He has been appointed to help with RapidShare’s “realignment”. The file hosting site, as we knew it, is about to change.