Quitting Instagram : She’s one of the millions disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it.
“In the early days, you felt your post was seen by people who cared about you and that you cared about,” said Richardson, who left Instagram in 2014 and later founded a start-up. “That feeling is completely gone for me now.”
Je me souviens très bien de cette période là, Instagram était une quasi communauté qui avait, comme le disait Bailey Richardson, l’objectif tourné vers le monde et non l’inverse. J’ai participé à des Instameet ou des instachallenge ; Exemple le #Achallenge, poster une photo avec un A dedans. Un concours avec un seul hashtag :) où le gagnant avait recueillit 3000 likes sur une semaine de jeu :D maintenant c’est le symbole d’une mauvaise communication sur Instagram. Un flop quoi. Je trouvais ça ludique, amusant, bien veillant et surtout cohérent avec la culture numérique.
When Richardson joined Instagram in February 2012, at age 26, the former art history major was drawn to what was then a fast-growing indie platform for photographers, hipsters and artistic-types who wanted to share interesting or beautiful things they discovered about the world. At that time, Instagram was “a camera that looked out into the world," said one of the company’s first engineers, "versus a camera that was all about myself, my friends, who I’m with.”
Richardson ran the start-up’s blog as well as the official @instagram account from the company’s offices in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood. Before there were software algorithms suggesting accounts to follow, Richardson selected featured Instagrammers by hand. For the most devoted users, she organized in-person “Insta-meets” in places as far-flung as Moscow and North Korea.
“We felt like stewards of that passion,” Richardson said.
Richardson moved to New York after leaving Instagram. (Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post)
One of the first people she featured prominently was an early Instagrammer in Spain. The exposure Richardson gave @IsabelitaVirtual, an amateur photographer whose real name is Isabel Martinez, helped Martinez become one of the most popular Instagram users in the country and led to a career in high-end fashion photography.
Both say that type of random connection that resulted in their friendship is hardly possible in the current iteration of Instagram. Too many people to follow, too much showmanship, too many posts flickering by, they say. “I don’t even see her posts anymore,” Richardson said. Martinez told The Post that while she wouldn’t quit Instagram for professional reasons, the app has in recent years become more anxiety-producing than pleasurable for her.