- Facebook named Adam Mosseri as the new head of Instagram as the image-sharing app’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, prepare to exit the company following their sudden resignations last week. Mosseri joined Facebook as a designer in 2008 and most recently was Instagram’s vice president of product, per a blog post.
- During his career at Facebook, Mosseri also had been the design director for the social network’s mobile apps and later led its News Feed division. He graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in information design in 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile.
- Systrom and Krieger last week announced their resignations from Instagram, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide and has become a significant source of audience growth since parent company Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 when it had 30 million users.
The appointment of Mosseri, a seasoned Facebook veteran, to lead Instagram is another sign that its parent company is exerting more control over the image-sharing app. Systrom and Krieger’s sudden resignations followed clashes with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over issues that included Instagram’s independence within the company, Recode reported.
This isn’t the first big shake-up for a Facebook-owned company. Their departures follow the exits of top executives at messaging app WhatsApp amid friction with the parent company. Jan Koum, co-founder and former CEO of WhatsApp departed in April and fellow co-founder Brian Acton left last year. Despite reported tensions, it’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to depart the companies they found and build before selling them off.
Mosseri’s first priorities will include filling vacant executive posts after a series of departures. He needs to find his replacement for product head and seek leaders for engineering and operations. According to the Wall Street Journal, Krieger previously was Instagram’s chief technical officer and ran its engineering efforts. Instagram also lost its COO, Marne Levine, last month after she announced her return to Facebook as the company’s head of global partnerships and business development.
Mosseri also will have to figure out how Instagram and Facebook can complement each other. While both have benefited from cross-promotions on each other’s platforms, they also have developed competing products. Instagram in June launched Instagram TV, or IGTV, a long-form video hub focused on publisher- and influencer-created content that Facebook executives feared would take away audiences for its Watch video platform, per Recode. Instagram has also pushed further into mobile commerce as it looks to link its shopping and browsing experience in order to remain competitive with apps like Snapchat.
Instagram has become more important to Facebook as the parent company struggles to recover from the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal. The social media giant was dealt another blow last week after it revealed a security flaw in 50 million accounts that let hackers take over profiles. Researchers said the vulnerability, which Facebook fixed, also could let hackers get access to many websites that use the “Login with Facebook” function, per NBC News. Meanwhile, Instagram has a reputation for being less divisive than Facebook with its focus on fashion, beauty, travel and celebrities. The app is also popular with younger audiences like teens that have shunned Facebook and are more likely to use rival app Snapchat, eMarketer reported.