Is this the end of Instagram as we know it? | The Tylt
Is this the end of Instagram as we know it?
Although it's sad to see the creators of something so influential separate from the creation itself, the Instagram users love will continue to thrive. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and the two companies have largely acted independently of one another. Systrom and Krieger's departure means that Facebook will have more creative control over the social media giant.
Faced with slowing growth and collapsing margins...Facebook can no longer afford to have these massively important assets simply chugging along doing their own thing.
The first way to do that is to bring [Instagram and WhatsApp] in-house and make them part of Facebook such that the insights and understanding that Facebook has of its users is deeper. This is how it can draw better insights and target users with more relevant, less intrusive advertising....
Sources report tension between Mark Zuckerberg, Systrom and Krieger prior to the co-founders' departure. Facebook may have gained more control over Instagram, but will it be able to maintain what users love about the photo-sharing app? BBC reports:
...it was Instagram's culture that made it such a valuable acquisition.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were responsible for that culture - the entire feel of an app that was in many respects the anti-Facebook. It lacked the clutter and noise that had made Facebook bloated in many people's eyes.
With the leaders of Instagram stepping away, it's conceivable Facebook will struggle to merge its values and vision with the rest of Instagram's employees, leading to increased tensions and misdirected social platforms.
Tensions aside, the departure has the potential to translate to a big pivot for the two social media platforms, and Facebook has the power to make this all work in its own favor. The end of one era does not mean the next will not be greater.
If anything, the leadership change will result in more consistency for users. Forbes's Windsor continues his argument by proposing a "mature Facebook ecosystem." He says:
This means a consistent place where users live their Digital Lives with Facebook rather than a series of separate and fragmented services...With the founders gone, Facebook should have a much freer hand to effect this change meaning that their exit is badly needed in fact, good news.
Plus, as CNN's Kaya Yurieff points out, it's in Facebook's best interest to maintain Instagram's integrity–a responsibility the company is not likely to take lightly, given the harrowing year it has had. According to Yurieff:
Facebook needs Instagram to continue flourishing, even without its founders. It may be only be a small part of the overall company's current revenue, but it's key to attracting a younger audience. Instagram has also largely remained insulated from the issues plaguing its parent company, and it continues to grow.
CNN's Dylan Byers wrote in June of 2018 of the Instagram-Facebook relationship:
Few acquisitions have yielded a greater ROI: Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. It is now worth $100 billion, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral. One billion people use Instagram, and it is expected to account for 25% of Facebook's ad revenue by 2020, per eMarketer.
There's no question that that growth is equally–if not more so–attributed to Systrom and Krieger. Now, Facebook is free to unleash full-forced advertising, corrupting a platform that users are already becoming skeptical of. If Instagram's feed becomes more similar to Facebook's, the app could very well be doomed. And, fittingly, the BBC reports:
One of the names being touted as the next boss of Instagram is Adam Mosseri. He's currently head of product, and has a CV that some of Instagram's loyal users might find ominous - he was formerly in charge of Facebook's Newsfeed.