Instagram Founders Leave Facebook

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Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
The New York Times reports that Instagram's co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, are leaving Facebook. Facebook bought Instagram for a cool $1 Billion way back in 2012, and the platforms have remained more or less separate ever since then. The departure seemed relatively amicable when the New York Times broke the story, but now other sources are saying that things may not be so rosy. Bloomberg's anonymous sources, for example, claim that the co-founders were "frustrated with an uptick in day-to-day involvement by Zuckerberg, who has become more reliant on Instagram in planning for Facebook’s future."

Facebook shares fell 2.2 percent, to $161.70, at 9:44 a.m. in New York. Meanwhile, Snap Inc. rose about 2 percent, amid speculation that the company can take advantage of Facebook’s woes. For years, Systrom and Krieger were able to amicably resist certain Facebook product initiatives that they felt went against their vision, while leaning on Facebook for resources, infrastructure and engineering talent. A new leader may not be able to keep the same balance, or may be more willing to make changes that help the overall company at the expense of some of Instagram’s unique qualities.
In before, "But but but, muh half naked chicks showing off their ass and women working out in revealing tops and skin tight yoga pants."

If Instagram does get ruined by Zuckerberg, the world won't have lost anything except a growing source of vanity, nihilism and narcissism in our youth

It's not like we'd lost an important and useful educational resource like Wikipedia.

There's no shortage of other places to go for softcore content which is pretty much 95 percent of Instagram. Google image hot (personal preference) and you've got a new Instagram. The other 5 percent being vacation photos and hiking photos. Last I remember watching slides of vacation photos was a meme of torture in the 80s and 90s TV and movies. Has that changed?
Good. Now they can go start a new social network and bring a competitor to Instagram.

Even if you don't use social media, competition is good for everyone.
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Good plan. Bail now before the Congressional hearings, new laws, and lawsuits become like a swarm of ticks slowly bleeding FB/Instagram dry. Besides, no more having to say 'Yes Lord' to His Highness Zuckerberg.
Good. Now they can go start a new social network and bring a competitor to Instagram.

Even if you don't use social media, competition is good for everyone.

Though a hypothetical Instagram clone they'd make could have the benefit of NOT being part of Facebook, it would still likely be yet another proprietary social network predicated on surveillance capitalism. Instead, we need something that can be fundamentally different while still fulfilling the same need ; thankfully, this already exists!

Pixelfed was built specifically to offer an enhanced set of Instagram style features, but it is free/libre / open source and federated! Users can choose to host their own instance or sign up on any existing instance run by another with rules/focus they find viable - much like XMPP or Matrix/Riot, among otthers - while still having full compatibility between users on different instances. It is also part of the "Fediverse", the colloquial name for the set of open source, decentralized / federated projects related to building better social media alternatives (more info - is a good place to start). . While the most famous is the Twitter-style microblogging platform Mastodon (Pleroma and GNUSocial are close relatives with small technical differences), Macro-social Facebook-alternatives Friendica/Diaspora and ambitious video/media sharing platform PeerTube are just a few Fediverse projects. Many, including Pixelfed, have some sort of cross-compatibility, often thanks to the wide use of the ActivityPub protocol.

Pixelfed and the Fediverse as a whole are the best answer to social media going forward since (despite some of us who have little to no interest in Facebook, Twitter or what is considered modern social media) that metaphorical genie is not going back in the bottle. This decentralzation and interoperability means that no single entity is dependent for hosting the data, people can chose instances with which they feel comfortable and avoid content from those they don't, and there's no built in monetization so it is up to the admin to decide if and how to do so. The last element is a major benefit especially compared to some of the social media/ communications dynamics that are predicated on a cryptocurrency asset - an element I oppose for adding complexity and a vested interest in the value of said asset.

Ultimately, major social media has been operated in a way that makes them a blight on civilization and they're mostly okay with that, given rampant profit. While anything that negatively affects facebook, like this possible internal strife with Instagram's founders, could be beneficial in the long run the crux of the issue is we need the right kind of replacement. It won't do to simply have another centralized, proprietary, profit-seeking social media site grow and take the crown from the previous! Pixelfed and the rest of the "Fediverse" are instead, steps in the right direction.
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