Welcome to episode 71 of This Week Online Today, where I will be talking to you about the big online news that has been happening this week today to make sure that you are ahead of the game when it comes to running your online brand successfully.
And if you have already subscribed to the newsletter, you will also receive an exclusive bonus tip of the week to help you further about this topic.
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In this episode of This Week Online Today, I talk about the following:
- the story about Instagram founders leaving Facebook and the possible reasons
- the similarity of how it also happened to WhatsApp founders
- the irony that the WhatsApp founders have opened up about their departure from Facebook this week
- the good and bad points about acquisitions
- what could this all mean for you and how it will affect you?
- The (very short) statement by the Instagram founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger
- The interview with WhatsApp founder about their departure from Facebook
- David Marcus’ “The Other Side” Facebook Note about the departure of WhatsApp founders
Welcome to This Week Online Today podcast with your host Ahmed Khalifa, where I will be talking about the biggest online news that had happened this week and why you should be aware of it. And don’t forget if you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll also receive a bonus tip of the week of what you should do about it. And you’ll find that link in the show note.
In the meantime, let’s get straight onto the show.
Yes, what’s up everyone this is Ahmed Khalifa, with episode 71 of This Week Online Today. And I want to get into this debate, this drama that’s been going on in the Facebook headquarter. What is going on there? I mean, the Instagram founders have decided to leave Facebook. The CEO and the CTO Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. They’ve been bought out we, kind of know that already Instagram have been bought by Facebook for almost one billion dollars. And that was about six years ago, about 2012.
But, the past few days there’s been news coming out that they have decided to leave and they have confirmed that with a very short blog post on their website on the Instagram press website. And it’s so short I mean I can read it right now. Let me read it out to you:
“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter”.
“We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs, that’s what we plan to do.
We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion. We look forward to watching what these innovative and extraordinary companies do next.”
That’s it. That’s kind of it, that’s the statement right there.
And for me personally I don’t know about you but, there is definitely more than meets the eye. And just kind of reading between the line, it sounds like they’re not happy with it. I might be wrong but, it just doesn’t seem like it was a mutual decision or in terms of they wanted to do that, or they’re happy to do that. Something going on in the background.
View this post on Instagram
@mikeyk and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people on the team to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’ve loved learning to scale a company and nurture an enormous global community. And we couldn’t have done it without our amazing Instagram team, and the support of @zuck, @sherylsandberg, @schrep, and @chriscox at Facebook – we’ve learned so much from all of you. Now, we’re ready for our next chapter. We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do. We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to just two users in a billion. Thank you for being part of Instagram’s community. It’s been (and will continue to be) an honor 🙌🏻
Of course, the way the media works, it became a wash with stories and rumours and just ideas of what could have happened in the background. But, it was kind of wildly reported that the two founders they clashed with Zuckerberg, and other senior Facebook staff over the future of Instagram. And this sounds really similar to what happened with the WhatsApp co-founders and this kind of … Maybe it’s a coincidence that it happened.
As well as that over the past few days, the WhatsApp co-founders who also left Facebook, he came out with an exclusive interview with Forbes Magazine. They are kind of attacking Facebook in a way that’s what it sound like in the article I’m going to get into that in a minute. But, the co-founder Brian Acton and Jan Koum, they founded it in 2009 and then Facebook bought WhatsApp for a massive I think it was $16 billion, and that was in 2014.
In the interview Acton, was saying that he was under increasing pressure to aggressively make more money from users of WhatsApp. And it was kind of making him uncomfortable is what he’s saying. He admitted that he’s a sellout that’s what he admitted that he’s a sellout for selling his company and also selling data of his users when he didn’t want to do that in the first place.
You can read about it more in detail I’ll put the link in the show note of the interview you can make of that what you will.
Of course after that happened almost instantly, then they were response from a senior Facebook executive called David Marcus. He hit back and a called Acton’s actions…I never thought of that…Acton’s action…a “whole new standard of low class “that was it said. Let me expand that actually that’s what the executive said, in his statement on the Facebook note which you can view on Facebook.
And he said, and I quote “Call me old fashion but, I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years low class”.
“It’s actually a whole standard of low class”.
Well, the gloves are off isn’t? I mean the gloves are off this … It is intense this is we are all enjoying Facebook as we are even sharing and laughing at videos and looking at baby photos and whatever. It’s all fun and game but, obviously behind theme they are so many things going on that we’ll never see. We are kind of maybe naïve about it you just think everything is fine. But, let’s not get into that either I mean here’s the whole point about been bought.
So it happened to WhatsApp and it seems like it’s happening to Instagram as well. Because at the need of the day if a company has bought you out it’s very difficult not impossible is very difficult to have a say especially a final say in the direction of the company that’s been bought out especially if it’s your company. You have inputs of course you have valuable inputs because you understand the market very well.
You probably understand it better than the investors or the buyers. But, you not gonna be able to have a that full control that you used to have if your are a part of team now because that’s the thing you are part of that team.
I always think that is better if an acquisition kind of resulted in adding more talented members of staff to the team. Like Instagram and WhatsApp the team there they joined Facebook and it’s a great thing because then it makes the product even more innovative in a way. And this how a lot of people have been kind of growing because you can add very talented people to your existing team via acquisition.
And this is something that’s been going on forever I think it’s just the way that it works. And for a lot of companies that’s how they survive and that’s how they stay ahead of the game by buying their competitors or buying companies that has an amazing products and that they want to implement themselves.
Tech companies are very big into that. And if you ever had a chance to look at the number of companies that Google has acquired they some that you never have heard of and some bigger names as well. But, dozens if not hundreds of companies have been acquired, some worked and some didn’t work. That’s just the way acquisitions kind of work. But, this is thing problems kind arise especially if they are differences in opinions and it can happen everywhere obviously.
It can happen anywhere, and everywhere, at home, at work, in the street or in a restaurant whatever it can happen. But, if you think one thing become a bit more passionate, more tense then it becomes a bit more difficult to deal with that. Especially, if it’s something that you know … If it’s your product, you call it your baby as such. You become very protective about it.
How long can really put up with that? So WhatsApp founder couldn’t do it and now the Instagram founders they can’t do either. And my own reason is that they are forced to do something that made them uncomfortable and it was just difficult for them to stand up for themselves when you are understand a lot of pressure from other senior member staff as well.
But, if you’re going to be acquired don’t you think that things things will change and for Facebook in the case. Do you not think that they are going look for the way to monetize you despite what they say. And even there is quote by former chief security officer at Facebook called Alex Stamos, he said the same thing. “You would be foolish to not think that Facebook want to some how monetize your product”.
It made me think as well if they was no kind of agreement with anything who won’t really, I mean isn’t better to work together in some way than both go you to lose. One will look bad and the other will leave kind of thing.
And what does it mean for the rest of the staff, what’s does it mean for the users in this case Instagram and WhatsApp? And here’s the thing no one will know apart from those within the boardroom. What does that mean for you? I’ll just talk about that what will it mean for the users of Instagram and WhatsApp. Well, expect your data to be sold even more if you use Instagram.
We’ve seen it that they’ve been adverts in the past few years in the beginning that never happened. But, what you need to be aware of is that data is like gold for a lot of company especially tech companies. And everyone does it I’m not gonna say Facebook is the only one that does it every company does it especially the tech companies that they monitor user behaviour.
If you think about Google and I talked about it many times about how they are tracking people behaviour just to serve better adverts and stuff. Everyone does it and I’m gonna put my hands up and say, I do it on a much, much smaller scale. But, I track users on my own websites on Google analytics and just to understand what’s going on.
What kind of engagement happened the conversion that kind of stuff. It’s a common thing but, is just a scale for Facebook and Google is massive absolutely massive. It doesn’t bother you if I tell you, your data will be used to make money. Carry on no, no you can keep going and enjoy Instagram and all your other apps and tools as you enjoyed it just carry on.
If it does bother you then I don’t really know what can I say the only. The only thing you can do to kind of deal with that is to never use Instagram again. But, can you do that not just Instagram any apps? Can you just give up in life because it’s quite hard isn’t?
This is the thing about certain apps or social media is that they’ve very good at making it part of your everyday life. It’s almost like food or like oxygen in a way, you can live without it. And it’s clever, there’s a bit of psychology behind there but, they’ve kind of playing with your mind about making it seem like you need it every single day.
You do a formal at the end of the day. These are all the things you have to ask yourself. Can you live without it and do you care that your data is been used to make these companies billions that’s what you have to ask yourself? If it bothers you I’m afraid you know what to do. It’s been a lot of drama going on and I’ve went on a bit long than I wanted to do.
But, I get fun and interesting stuff is something you need to aware of. And you never know you may have dealt with companies that have been acquired, you may have been acquired, you may have been part of team that has been acquired.
Everyone works differently I’m not saying that is going to happen to you as well is just that thing will change without a doubt. Because of more people with opinion and you don’t have full control anymore. It can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing. There no kind of right way of doing it, is just peoples preferences they feel like we should do it this way. And someone else can say, no I don’t think so or they might say yes I agree then great you work together.
Let me know what you think, let me know in a comment, let me know in the social media and checkout if you are not linked to articles about these statements and you can read about it a bit more.
I hope you enjoyed podcast I’ll appreciate if you can leave a review on iTunes will make me really, really happy as well. Thank you for listening in the meantime take care of yourself and I’ll see you next week.
Thank you for listening to this episode of This Week Online Today I really hope you appreciate it and I hope you found it useful. If you have enjoyed the show please do leave a review on iTunes it would mean the world to me. I really would appreciate that. Thank you again you rock and one more thing I just want to remind you to do your thing because it matters.
And I’ll see you next week.
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