Instagram recently mass deleted popular meme accounts some with over tens of millions of followers while also suspending others. Most of these meme pages earned income from selling promotions which isn’t against Instagram’s terms of service but talking to Insider, the Facebook-owned giant photo-sharing platform said that the accounts were being removed as they repeatedly attempted to abuse internal processes.
— Ben (@spicymp4) July 26, 2019
These meme pages are a huge source of revenue for their owners who can earn up to $50 to $400 a day by selling promotion. Instagram deleting them has reduced their income. Some of the meme pages even migrated to Reddit where they received with mixed feelings by Redditors.
When Instagram purged these accounts last year, there were lots of petitions urging Instagram to bring them back but they fell on deaf ears.
This time around, Instagram is paying attention. According to the Atlantic, they’re now looking to hire a strategic-partnerships manager who will specifically focus on meme pages and other “digital publishers” like “@Betches” and “@CommentsbyCelebs”
The person filling this role will work under Instagram’s partnerships division to identify important new formats and trends while also serving memers already on the platform, including large and well-established meme accounts, according to Lila King, Instagram’s head of news and publishing partnerships.
Instagram knows that meme content play a vital role for the platform’s engagement and to be honest, the reason I haven’t deleted my Instagram account yet: I follow more meme accounts than real people accounts.
Meme content is shared 7 times more than non-meme content
Instagram shared an interesting statistic that could presumably be the reason why they’re now paying attention to meme pages. Meme content gets shared seven times more than non-meme content on Instagram. This is probably me annoying my followers with Area 51 memes or The Office memes every half hour, sorry not sorry.
Pages like Buzzfeeds @World posts news headlines in meme-like format and @Bustle shares screenshotted tweets instead of curated lifestyle content. Maybe we should join in too, ama namna gani, my friends?
But seriously follow us here @Techweez.
“We’ve seen, through the course of our work with publishers and creators, that the meme community has become really influential. Memes are a format that you’re starting to see traditional media companies adopt more and more … We think if we can get to know and understand [the meme community] there is a lot to learn that can influence the more traditional media companies,” Lila King adds.
Memes are great for people who love them, and not awesome for people who don't. 🤷🏻♂️
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 11, 2019
It is going to be hard to work under this new role especially since most curated memes are shared without credit. Nevertheless, Instagram is hopeful that the meme liaison role will change their view by meme pages who see them as the enemy.
While speaking to the Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz, Lila King emphasized that there is “inherent value in curation in addition to creation.”
Lila adds that “It will be so important for a person in this role to connect more deeply with the teen accounts and other accounts we’re not aware of.”
Instagram’s head of global creative partnerships, Charles Porch also commented that “I want to spend as much time on the big classic memers as the next generation memers. They’re the one who decide where this industry goes and we want to be part of that with them.”
Meme page owners are still doubtful.
- “All we ask is that Instagram tries to talk with us in some way instead of blowing us off and ignoring us”
- “It is important that Facebook and Instagram acknowledges the teen meme community, because we are the future.”
- “They should hire a younger person between ages 18–25 that has been involved with the internet/meme community”
Trying to wrap my head around this. So Instagram deleted a ton of smaller meme accounts, never gave them a clear explanation about why, allowed the bigger ones keep on posting and making money, and now they're hiring someone to better "serve" those bigger accounts?
— Megh Wright (@megh_wright) August 6, 2019
Lila King notes this and added that they’re basically looking for a unicorn.