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Synthetic cuts development staff, refocuses business

Even though Synthetic is still actively launching products, the makers of Hipstamatic have cut its core staff as it tries to refocus on the future.

The company has dropped to five employees, and those let go received full severance packages, The Next Web reports. It initially reported that Synthetic wasn't making enough money, though the company later contacted TNW to refute that. TNW also posted a tweet by developer Jonathan Wight, one of those let go, who said his team was "totally squandered where we are."

Synthetic CEO Lucas Buick said the layoff happened as more of an effort to return the company to its art and creative roots. Hipstamatic is a lifestyle culture brand, he said, and not a typical software company.

Synthetic's major release this year is Snap Magazine, a free culture magazine for the iPad that's driven by Hipstamatic photography. Buick said in his blog post that there are more than 100,000 subscribers since its launch a couple months ago.

Even though Hipstamatic is well-received, it's currently ranked 11th in paid photo and video apps on the App Store and 93 overall. It's stuck behind powerhouses Camera+ and Instagram, the latter which has garnered plenty of mainstream media attention thanks to its acquisition by Facebook, along with TIME and Sports Illustrated magazines utilizing Instagram images in their print editions.

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