Instagram Has Announced Its New Chief
A week after Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger abruptly announced their departure from the Facebook-owned social app, Instagram has a new chief in former Head of Product Adam Mosseri.
Krieger and Systrom announded the succession in a blog post, effective yesterday. Mosseri has been with Facebook since 2008, working in various design and product roles on Facebook mobile and the News Feed before migrating over to Instagram earlier this year.
Mosseri had been widely rumored as the heir apparent to the job. He confirmed the news on Twitter:
It's been a messy transition, to say the least. Krieger and Systrom's resignation last week took Facebook by surprise, and was reportedly the culmination of frustrations over Facebook taking a more hands-on approach with the app recently in terms of advertising, data and product decisions. Systrom and Krieger were still heavily involved in day-to-day product decisions at Instagram until their departure.
Faceboook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, and has overseen the photo-sharing app's massive growth from a user base of 30 million to well over a billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also wielded Instagram Stories as the most devastating weapon in his ongoing war against Snapchat, as Instagram's live story feature has long-since eclipsed Snapchat's entire active user base.
Aside from Stories, Facebook had long been content to let Instagram run fairly autonomously. Then a year of data breach scandals, regulatory scrutinty and plateauing user growth put more of the social media giant's focus on Instagram, its crown acquisition jewel. Shortly after Systrom and Krieger announced their resignation, Zuckerberg posted a brief note wishing them the best and saying he's "looking forward to seeing what they build next."
Instagram isn't the only Facebook acquisition that's had issues lately. In April, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum announced his departure from the company, reportedly over clashes with Facebook on data privacy issues. Then the day after Systrom and Krieger's resignation last week, WhatsApp's other co-founder Brian Acton gave a wide-ranging interview where he lamented having "sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day."
The saga got even more contentious when David Marcus, Facebook's VP of messaging products, hit back at Acton's interview. Marcus refuted many of Acton's claims regarding compromised encryption and Facebook's business model, and got personal in his admonishment of the WhatsApp co-founder.
"I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire, and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years, low-class," Marcus wrote. "It's actually a whole new standard of low-class."