I've read Sarah Frier's "No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram" and *really* enjoyed it.

The book gives an account of Instagram's story between the initial idea (the check-in app 'burbn'), and the resignation of CEO Kevin Systrom in 2018.I'm impressed by how the book explores the 'Instagram DNA', which often clashes with 's own prinicples.

I'll post a thread with some key aspects and quotes.

Kevin Systrom, before founding Instagram, had graduated from Stanford, interned at Odeo (which later became ) with Ev Williams and Jack Dorsey, and personally declined an offer from Zuckerberg to work on before it was big. He insead decided to work at :

"Most people never get the chance to join an iconic company in its early days. Systrom squandered both of his, choosing instead to do something much less risky."

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On company culture:

"It was the culture that drove homepage leader Marissa Mayer, who later became CEO of Yahoo!, to famously test 41 shades of blue to figure out what color would give the company’s hyperlinks the highest click-through rate.. A slightly purpler blue shade won out over slightly greener shades, helping boost revenue by $200 million a year."

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Again, on how well connected Kevin Systrom was early on:

"By age 25 Systrom had received an introduction to how growth-driven Facebook was, how scrappy Twitter was, and how procedural and academic Google was."

This reminds me a lot of what I read about other 'successful' people. They don't follow the "dishwasher to millionaire" route, but start out with heavy advantages.

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Price of sponsored posts on :

"Today, Kim Kardashian West has 157 million followers and makes about $1 million for a single post. Paris Hilton eventually joined Instagram too, and now has 11 million followers."

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About the woman who started a popular account for her dog:

"Her friends warned her about what was coming before she realized it: she would have to quit her job at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and run her dog’s account full-time."

What a world we live in.

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About , their video app , and the power of conent creators:

"Twenty of the top Viners banded together to negotiate with Twitter, saying that for about $1 million each, they would post every day for the next six months. If Twitter rejected the deal, they would instead start posting Vines to tell followers to find them on Instagram, YouTube, or Snapchat instead. Twitter refused, the stars abandoned the app, and eventually, Vine shut down entirely."

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creating peer pressure and depression, and as competitor:

"It turned out that the high pressure to demonstrate a perfect life on Instagram was actually bad for the product’s growth. And it was great for a now-formidable competitor: Snapchat."

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Instagram blatantly copied the Stories idea, and openly admitted it:

"Systrom had told his communications team that he would acknowledge to the press that the Stories format was a Snapchat invention that Instagram had copied, and that was why they had the same name. (“You’re going to do WHAT?” Facebook PR head Caryn Marooney exclaimed."

The feature was hugely popular, and relieved some of the pressure for a beautiful life for its users.

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Accurate description of how useless has become lately:

"People weren’t posting as many personal updates as they had in years past. Instead, they were taking quizzes about which Harry Potter character they were most like, and wishing their distant contacts an obligatory “Happy birthday!” because Facebook reminded them to."

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"Photos of leisure time are the new status symbols."

Not cars, not phones, not clothing.

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"The Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K. named Instagram the number one worst app for mental health for youth, specifically because it drives people to compare themselves to one another and fosters anxiety."

That's no surprise to us, is it?

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The purchase of , and keeping it as a separate company, was also a blueprint for the acquisition of .

Instagram: 1 billion USD
WhatsApp: 19 billion USD

"there were suddenly no more doubts about whether Instagram was worth $1 billion to Facebook. Instead, Systrom was getting constant questions—from the media, from his peers in the industry, from everyone—about whether he’d sold too soon."

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Later, the WhatsApp founder Brian Acton (now foundation):

“At the end of the day, I sold my company,” Acton underscored. “I sold my users’ privacy to a larger benefit. I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day.”

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@hinterwaeldler
Danke, für die Zusammenfassung. sehr interessant. Immer toll, wenn Mythen über #siliconvalley ausgeräumt werden.

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