Following a purge of 142 meme accounts last week — who have collectively amassed millions of followers on their Instagram pages that curate and re-share viral posts from elsewhere across the web — the Facebook-owned platform is looking to hire a go-between for creators in the contentious space.
An Instagram spokesperson previously stated that the most recent round of meme accounts “were disabled following violations of our policies, including attempted abuse of our internal processes” — though no further explanation has been publicly provided, nor has the option for account holders to right any alleged wrongs, reports The Atlantic.
But now, in response to memer uproar, Instagram is looking to hire its first-ever strategic partnerships manager to focus on meme accounts and other social-based media entities that it calls “digital publishers,” according to The Atlantic. Some of the accounts that the incoming exec will oversee include TheShadeRoom (16.1 million followers), OverheardLA (1.3 million), CommentsbyCelebs (1.2 million), Betches (6.6 million), FuckJerry (14.3 million), KaleSalad (3.3 million), and Daquan (12.7 million). The new exec will work within Instagram’s partnerships division to identify new formats and trends, per news and publishing partnerships head Lila King.
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“We’ve seen, through the course of our work with publishers and creators, that the meme community has become really influential,” King tells The Atlantic. “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.”
Instagram said that meme content gets shared seven times more than non-meme content across its app.
That said, meme accounts live in a tricky space with respect to Instagram’s community guidelines, given that some meme accounts re-post content without providing credit. (Sometimes posts are intentionally uncredited, according to The Atlantic, and other times credit is difficult to ascertain on today’s messy web). Accordingly, Instagram is reaching out to the community for the first time to provide tips and best practices, says the company’s head of global creative partnerships, Charles Porch.
“Ideally, we’d find someone who is equally fluent in the language of memes and the business of digital publishing,” King said of what Instagram is looking for in a potential hire. And Porch added that the new liaison will be responsible for overseeing the platform’s biggest meme accounts, as well as a new class — predominantly run by teens.