Photo-sharing giant Instagram is shutting down its Global Community Team, which helped promote the social network across the globe, The Verge reports. The team worked diligently to build relationships with photographers.
The dissolving of the team is part of Instagram’s reorganization strategy. Approximately 12 jobs will be eliminated in cities across the world. Those employees will be offered jobs elsewhere at either Facebook or Instagram.
“There were a small number of people affected by the change who didn’t make the move into other departments and our priority is helping them find other roles at Instagram or other parts of the Facebook family,” an Instagram spokesperson told The Verge. “Both companies are growing and have many job openings.”
The removal of the team will eliminate duplicate efforts among team members and consolidate marketing efforts to a single team in Menlo Park.
Instagram has been working closely with the community since its founding in 2010. Fans of the app used to visit the company’s tiny San Francisco office just to go on photo walks with Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, founders of Instagram. Community managers would arrange “InstaMeets” to bring app users together. Their photography would be featured on the company’s marketing channels.
The company’s efforts to build relationships with the community, particularly high-end photographers, helped them stand out on the crowd.
When Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, the Global Community Team was formed. Along with hosting meetups around the world, the team also created accounts in several countries, including France, Russia, Spain, Germany, Japan and Brazil. Managers published posts in the languages of their countries.
As part of an effort to promote Instagram globally, the team published posts three times a day, letting anyone comment on their pics. Combined, the team member accounts have more than 40 million followers. Each photo posted receives thousands of comments and likes.
But between February 12th and 15th, those accounts went dark. No new posts have been added. Eventually, they will be phased out.
Moving forward, Instagram plans to focus its marketing efforts on its primary corporate account.
Former Instagram employees have said that the community aspect of the team had declined over the years. The focus shifted from promoting the platform to meeting follower, likes and comments goals.
One former employee told The Verge that bonuses weren’t paid if targets weren’t met. A spokesperson for Instagram denied that bonuses weren’t paid for failing to meet performance goals.
After receiving numerous complaints from users, members of the community team also argued that users should have the option to see posts in chronological order. Their arguments allegedly fell on deaf ears.
Instagram, arguably, now has its own natural promotional team, with Instagram models and “celebrities” attracting thousands of followers to the platform.
Instagram celebrity Woah Vicky recently made headlines after she was arrested for alleged assault in the midst of a mall fight that sparked a false report of an active shooter. The controversial Instagram star, just 17 years old, has more than one million followers. The story will likely attract more followers to the social platform.