Instagram’s 3 Core Values for Building a Global Community



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4.2 billion cumulative likes made, 21 minutes spent on the platform, and 95 million images posted every single day. It’s clear that the Instagram community loves to interact with each other.

With over half a billion users, 80% of which are outside of the US, Instagram makes it a priority to shine a light on the distinctive voices in their global community. David Cuen, International Lead of Community Team, discusses Instagram’s core values and how they inspire key company decisions.

Here are Instagram’s three core values and how they helped build a global community. To watch the entire talk, plus access more than 100 hours of other SMW events and presentations, sign up for SMW Insider.

1. Community first

“It’s amazing to people from all over the world are come together. Images speak a universal language,” says Cuen. To accommodate its global audience, Instagram has 7 different channels. “We have Instagram Brazil, Russia, Japan and more. We want people to feel like Instagram belongs to them and speaks their language.”

Beyond borders and languages, it’s not only a place to see photos but a community of interest. “This is a place where you can find your passion. If your into baking, there are baking accounts. If you’re into skating, there’s a skating world. There are a lot of sub-communities and interests.”

Cuen also emphasizes the importance of observing how the community responds to their platform. Instagram noticed the emerging trend of video content and gave their users the tools for it. “We’ve seen an increase of 150% on video production and consumption. People are using video more and more.”

With the community as the center, Instagram is able to effectively create a positive user experience across the globe.

2. Inspire creativity

“We want people to feel inspired,” explains Cuen. Instagram has taken action both online and offline in order to spark creativity amongst their users. Cuen uses “Instameets” as an example of an offline initiative. “A bunch of Instagram users got together and took photos and videos. It’s amazing to see how creative they are.”

In order to keep things interesting and continue inspiring creativity, Instagram makes sure to incorporate exciting changes and additions to its platform. “Look at the past year,” begins Cuen. “We have the possibility to upload pictures in landscape and portrait, up to 60 second videos, hyper lapse, Instagram direct, Instagram stories, Boomerang. We always follow the community and see how people use social media and the platform.”

3. Simplicity matters

Instagram focuses on giving users a simple, fun experience when they use the app.

“We spend a lot of time talking and interacting with people in real life, listening to them about things they love to have, want to change, and would improve. Then we go back ask, ‘How can we make this in a way that still inspires creativity and is a simple experience?'”

As a response to those who criticize “Instagram stories” Cuen responds, “I think social media revolves. Stories is something that was created outside of Instagram, but something that a lot of platforms started to embrace. We thought of it as a natural evolution of social media. I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive reaction we’ve gotten.”

As Cuen puts it, “I truly believe in communities online and I also believe in storytelling. There is a world of untold stories out there.”

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