Digital marketers and social media consumers alike were shocked to hear Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced their joint resignation from the company this week.
Via the Instagram Press, Systrom and Krieger penned a joint statement, reading:
"Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter."
So, what does it all mean? Let’s explore:
Instagram: the sweet beginning
Can any of us remember a time before Instagram? Before the Valencia and Juno filters? Sure you can. But there’s no denying the way Instagram has changed the world of social media: I mean, before Instagram, a meal was just a meal -- not an opportunity for a popular post.
A new platform means a new audience, so inbound marketers were quick to use Instagram. At Marketing Essentials, we use Instagram every day to post content for our clients that will help them attract new leads and capture new customers.
Since Instagram’s debut on Oct. 6, 2010, it has become a multi-billion dollar app used by over 500 million people daily, 80% of them outside the United States. After only two months of launching, Instagram reached 1 million users and has kept growing ever since.
Instagram gets courted by Facebook
The social media world was rocked once again upon the news that Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stocks in 2012.
For several years, it appeared the relationship was a match made in heaven, with users being able to upload their Instagram posts on to their Facebook pages with just a simple swipe of the thumb.
However, like most hot and heavy relationships, things seemingly came to a quick, bitter end for Instagram’s co-founders and Facebook earlier last week.
While the reason is pretty much all hearsay at this point, we can only guess that the loss of creative control Systrom and Krieger once had over their beloved app led to the demise of their relationship with Facebook.
Is Instagram over?
Well, not today. But, some are screaming that it’s the end of the world for the social platform now that the app’s most creative minds have exited.
Most of the worry stems from the fact that Systrom and Krieger were deeply involved in day-to-day decisions concerning the app, and projects headed by Systrom and Krieger have seemingly come to a screeching halt (The Verge’s Casey Newton mused that IGTV, a pet project of Systrom, could be strangled in its crib. Ouch!).
However, it should be noted that many talented employees still work at Instagram, ones who most likely value the co-founders’ desire for autonomy within the app.As for now, keep on posting your puppy pictures and throw a Nashville filter on your selfie. And if you’re a business, check out our recent article on how to stop being a brand on social media.