Why do some websites require thousands of employees?


Why do some websites require thousands of employees?

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I’d say it’s proportional to the purpose of the website and the size of the audience.

In the case of social media sites, content moderation cannot be fully automated, they need to develop new features to keep users engaged and interested and they also need to deal with attacks from hackers, etc.

A very large website is going to have hundreds of sub-functions required for it to operate properly, and each sub-function needs programmers to keep it running. You also need teams of people coding new features and managing infrastructure.

Beyond that, you still have all the normal functions of a business that need doing. You need accountants and lawyers and customer service reps, etc. You also need layers of management to keep all of those functions running in sync.

It adds up quickly.

Because what you’re referring to as a “website” is a company that performs many functions, and you get to see the website interface to it.

But the background to that may be many, many applications that interact with _millions_ or people a day. Which requires insane amounts of software and hardware, which need to be developed, maintained and repaired by many engineers and other specialist. Not to mention the support infrastructure for those people (i.e., HR, payroll, etc).

Then there’s stuff like marketing, sales, and many other things.

You can’t swiftly handle billions of posts a day without a seriously scalable architecture. That doesn’t build itself. All of that data must be backed up for safety. It must be data-mined for advertising and to show people the kinds of posts they want to see. You must have the capability to rapidly respond to problems with the infrastructure.

To pay for it all, you need teams of people who can help manage advertising and engagement. Those people needs teams of people to interact with large advertisers.

When you have that many people and work in that many countries, you need to consider legal obligations for websites in those jurisdictions. You must pay and correctly handle your employees correctly in all those jurisdictions.

You have to have people to respond to press inquiries and to interface with government agencies for things like taxes and compliance.

**tl;dr** once you scale to a certain size, you must have a massive architecture and you must deal with governments, taxes, finance, lawyers, advertisers, etc.

Larger sites have a lot more infrastructure to
maintain, need rapid response to bugs, are constantly trying to improve speed/efficiency of code and try out new features, etc. A site like Twitter also has tons of non-technical staff doing things like moderation/abuse investigation, advertising sales, support for corporate and celebrity account holders, plus all the general business operations like HR, accounting, business intelligence, marketing, facilities management, etc.