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VSCO closes its New York offices — including the free photo studio

Photo editing app VSCO has downsized. The Instagram competitor recently closed its New York offices, including a recently added free photo studio.

The closure moves the company back to two locations, the main headquarters in Oakland, California, and a secondary office in Denver, Colorado. The Open Studio, which was launched only this past summer, also closes with the New York office but is expected to reopen in Oakland.

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A VSCO representative told TechCrunch that the move was to align the company’s operations with “evolving business needs.” The entire New York staff was laid off, with the exception of some employees that were offered a transfer to the Oakland office. The company says, however, that it is expanding its Oakland team. While operating one less facility will reduce costs, the move doesn’t appear to be for the purpose of cutting staff-related costs.

The New York office only opened last year, which was also when the company opened the Open Studio and released a redesigned app interface. The update included gesture controls and expanded on the social aspect of the app, though the updates were met with mixed reviews. The company has since responded to user complaints with an update in November.

The company’s third location opened last year, although funding for the expansion was acquired in 2014. The 11,500-square-foot facility was completed at the end of 2015.

Along with offices, the New York location brought with it Open Studio, a place photographers could rent out for free, including lighting equipment. The space was designed to help expand VSCO’s brand image as a platform for creative expression, and as a free-to-use studio space, was open for personal projects but not commercial uses.

Along with its headquarters in Oakland, VSCO has a secondary office in Denver, which came from acquiring Artifact Uprising, a print shop.

Besides the popular editing app and photo community of the same name, VSCO is also responsible for several film packs for Lightroom, as well as the GIF-creator, DSCO.