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Sunday 16 December 2018

Facebook executive Adam Mosseri named new head of Instagram

The appointment comes after the photo-sharing app’s co-founders resigned last week.

Adam Mosseri (Instagram/Facebook Inc. via AP)
Adam Mosseri (Instagram/Facebook Inc. via AP)

By Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press

Facebook has named Adam Mosseri, a 10-year veteran at the company, as the new head of Instagram.

The appointment comes after the photo-sharing app’s co-founders resigned last week without giving a clear reason.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive, and Mike Krieger, its other co-founder, announced Mr Mosseri’s appointment on the company blog.

He was named as Instagram’s head of product in May. He began as a designer at Facebook and most recently led its news feed.

The founders and Mr Mosseri sought to reassure users that he will “hold true” to Instagram’s values and community. Some users have worried since last week’s surprise departures that Instagram will become more like its parent company, becoming cluttered with features and sucking up personal data.

In a statement, Mr Mosseri reiterated his desire to keep Instagram’s unique culture that includes “simplicity, craft and community as well as kindness”.

Facebook said it completed an internal search for the best candidate, but Mr Mosseri, 35, had been widely expected to get the post.

The company did not make either Mr Mosseri or Mr Systrom available for interviews. Head of Instagram is Mr Mosseri’s official title, as Facebook says it reserves CEO titles for company founders.

In his blog post, Mr Systrom praised Mr Mosseri’s “strong design background and a focus on craft and simplicity — as well as a deep understanding of the importance of community”.

Instagram was founded in 2010 and sold to Facebook for a billion dollars two years later.

It was Facebook’s first billion-dollar purchase – though dwarfed by WhatsApp at 19 billion dollars two years later.

At the time, Instagram was ad-free, with a loyal following of 31 million users who were all on mobile devices — still a somewhat elusive bunch for the web-born Facebook back then.

Since then, the service has grown to more than a billion users, expanded its features and added adverts.

Instagram has been a bright spot for Facebook, which has faced waves of controversy in the last two years, ranging from fake news and misinformation to privacy scandals.

Instagram is generally seen as a more uplifting space and remains popular with teenagers and young people, which has been a challenge for Facebook.

Some of those users do not even know Facebook owns their beloved app, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, analysts say. And if Instagram starts to look too much like Facebook, it might start seeing similar problems.

Press Association

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