LeWeb: Instagram

Kevin Systrom, CEO, Instagram and Alexia Tsotsis, Writer, TechCrunch

Learnt at Odeo, it’s about the team not the first product you worked on. At BOurbon, learnt same thing, the product not working. With no dark moments, you just go sideways, you don’t learn. With Instagram we realised we had to do something new. And that was a hard decision.

Is it mainstream? it’s normal behaviour, to take pictures. Instagram just makes it easy. It had not been done the right way in mobile the iphone4 launched, network speeds where there, so hardware supported it. We’ll see the same net change with video.

If facebook added Filters? They’ve always been available to some extent, but instagram is not the core competency, it’s not the defensible asset. it is the community, 15m users that are excited about sharing photos to friends. Filters get people taking more photos, but it is the network that excites me

Twitter shares a lot of the same DNA, it’s about what is sharing now, around you. Instagram is the start of something, it’s not just photosharing.

Instagram is not grown-up yet, at stage of FB when it was college only. But if you look at larger idea, it is bigger than iphone app. We have all these other platforms to hit. We are at the tip of what we can do.

How will you get revenue to afford the scale? The focus is to grow the network, or no advertiser will scare. We love how many brands are signing up everyday, doing beautiful pictures everyday,, sharing message of brands through platform. The advertising experience will be engaging. We are growing network now, that is later.

We have 2 people working on Android now (just hired someone). It’s very exciting…to get a new market,

Planning on hiring…when building a team it is not about the headcount. We bring on the best people we can find…at some point you can talk about scale, not we’re not there. It’s about picking best positions to fill and putting the best people in there.

Looking at other people, apple, twitter etc, photos are what ties us together, as people want to record their lives. Apple is about base consumer experience, it’s about sharing across devices. They have an open platform, that others can specialise on. We have a great relationship. Going forward, we want to be independent, as we have a lot to accomplish. We chose iOS first, as we were all iOS users. The screen on iphone 4 was a turning point, someone had to take advantage of that.

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