Instagram started its venture journey with 13 people. Now, some of the former employees have established their own company, while others have left the world of technology behind and continue their lives as writers and artists.
It’s been 10 years since Instagram’s establishment. Bought for $ 1 billion by Facebook in 2012, Instagram had only 13 employees at that time. In the last 10 years, it has transformed from a photography application into a social channel with its Stories, Live broadcasts, labels and shopping features. It should be noted that the team has expanded from 13 people to hundreds of employees.
While Instagram has been on its way successfully, we have compiled what the first employees who have made the effort do now.
Loomans, who joined the team just before the application was purchased by Facebook in April 2012, worked on Instagram from March 2012 to September 2014. Loomans, who was recently brought into the position of Product Designer, later switched to Facebook as Product Designer. Loomans, who left Facebook in 2018, is now the product and Design Director of the beauty initiative Glossier.
Dan Toffey, the 10th employee of Instagram, was hired to build a community. Working on the initiative since March 2012, Toffey is currently working as the Director of the Community Laboratory at the company. Moving from Washington DC to San Francisco in the past to work on Instagram, Toffey is currently investigating how Instagram shapes culture and how it is shaped by culture.
Gomba, the 9th employee of Instagram, joined the team because of his love of photography. Gomba, who was hired in March 2012, worked as a Product Engineer until June 2014. Gomba is currently co-founder of financial services software Even.
Contributing to the curation of the suggested accounts to follow Instagram, Richardson added artists or chefs to the suggestions, preventing only celebrities from being featured. Richardson, who worked for the company from February 2012 to June 2014, was a member of the community team. Richardson, who is currently a partner in New York-based community management firm People & Company, is also a writer. Talking about the negative changes on the platform before, Bailey Richardson announced that he deleted his Instagram account in 2018.
Hired in January 2012 to design the Android version of Instagram, McAllister is still working in the company. McAllister, now Director of the Engineering team, continues to lead the team from New York.
Tim Van Damme
Hired as Instagram’s Design Leader, Van Damme worked as a Product Designer from January 2012 to July 2013. After leaving Instagram, let’s mention that Van Damme works as a product designer in Dropbox. Van Damme is currently working as a Design Manager at San Francisco-based design firm Abstract.
In fact, Gregor Hochmuth was the first to whom Kevin Systrom offered partnership. Hochmuth, who was hired to produce more filters in November 2011, worked at the company until February 2014. Hochmuth, who recently served as Engineering and Product Manager, now positions himself as an artist and engineer in New York. Hochmuth is also the co-founder of the live TV app called Dreams.
Cole, the first business development director for Instagram, also helped move the venture to an office with windows. Joining the team in 2011, Cole worked at the company until June 2017. Finally, he was appointed as the Brand Development Director responsible for Europe, Middle East and Africa Regions. Cole continues to work on Facebook even though he left Instagram. He is currently the Product Marketing Director of WhatsApp.
Hired as his 5th employee in August 2011, Zollman supported the growth of the Instagram community. Working on Instagram from Formspring, Zollman worked on Instagram until 2013. Zollman, who recently served in the Community Leader Position, is currently doing full time photography and living in Los Angeles.
Sweeney, the first engineer of Instagram, added a camera to the Instagram app. So users started taking photos from the Instagram app. Sweeney, who was hired in November 2010, still works as an engineer in the company. Considering that Krieger and Systrom left the company in the past years, we can say that Sweeney is the longest employee in the company.
Riedel, the first employee of Instagram, remained in the company until June 2014. Leaving the company with the title of the latest community director, Riedel also said goodbye to the technology world. Riedel, who holds a Master of Creative Writing at the University of Arizona Faculty of Fine Arts, lives in Portland and is currently working on a novel.
Kevins Systrom and Mike Krieger
Kevin Systrom launched Burbn, a location-oriented photo sharing application, in March 2010. Mike Krieger joined Systrom in November 2010 as a founding partner and turned Burbn into Instagram. Recall that Mike Krieger (CTO) and Kevin Systrom (CEO) left the company in 2018. The two are currently working on the initiative called Rt.live, which shows the spread of Covid-19.