media update’s Christine Gerber highlights the top social media stories from September and reveals why they made headlines.

Instagram co-founders say goodbye

The news: The New York Times recently reported the departure of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger from Instagram. The co-founders, who developed Instagram in 2010, announced their leave of absence, not providing any further statement on their resignation or any reason for it beyond wanting to ‘explore their creativity again’.

Image sourced from TechCrunch

Does this mean we can look forward to a new social platform in the future? Possibly, but it’s too soon to tell.

Why it’s making headlines: Systrom and Krieger’s decision to leave has been shrouded in mystery. Did they suddenly get bored of the platform? Were they looking for something new, but unable to find it with Instagram?

According to TechCrunch, there has been a lot of tension between the co-founders and Facebook in terms of Instagram’s autonomy.

“Facebook had agreed to let [Instagram] run independently as part of the acquisition deal. But in May, Instagram’s beloved VP of product, Kevin Weil, moved to Facebook’s new blockchain team and was replaced by former VP of Facebook News Feed Adam Mosseri – a member of Zuckerberg’s inner circle,” says TechCrunch writer Josh Constine.

A source told TechCrunch that “Mosseri was very disappointed that he didn’t get the ‘head of Facebook’ gig, which went to Will Cathcart”.

It’s still unclear as to who will head up Instagram in replacement of the two co-founders, which leads to a bit of uncertainty around the app.

BuzzFeed’s retelling of Romeo and Juliet

The news: BuzzFeed is set to release Romeo Likes Juliet, an eight-day retelling of the infamous Romeo and Juliet, on Instagram starting on Tuesday, 9 October.

Why it’s making headlines: BuzzFeed will retell the story on Instagram by making use of seven character profiles. These profiles will include individual Instagram profiles made specifically for the characters, photo posts, Instagram Stories, comments and IGTV – a long-form video platform.

The characters are made up of an all-female cast, and users on Instagram will be able to follow them, comment on story developments and ‘take part’ in the retelling before its launch, as well as after.

According to executive producer Jennifer Berky, the platform wants to explore whether audiences will take a more active role in the story.

“What we're looking for is really for the audience to interact with the characters in different ways," she says. "They get to live out the story with the characters and shape the narrative."

Why an all-female cast? “Diversity is super important to us and we wanted to tell a story about identities that are not often represented in the media,” says Maggie Jung, who heads BuzzFeed's experimental group, and who will also be playing the part of Romeo.

Storytelling is a big part of any good marketing campaign, so it’s interesting to see the social platform experimenting with it – especially considering it’s also a media company.

However, with Romeo Likes Juliet, the brand will be able to ‘connect’ and communicate with its audience, allowing them to hear their ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’. This will give it a chance to alter its reports according to the audiences’ feedback (and tailor future stories according to what the audience wants).

Snapchat lets publishers access users’ posts

The news: Snapchat has announced the launch of a new feature, ‘Curated Our Stories’, which will allow publishers access to users’ public posts so that they can create live stories from them.

Why it’s making headlines: The new feature is an extension of the Our Story feature, which is a collection of Snaps that are submitted by the platform’s community. The collection is made up of images or videos of a particular topic or event, allowing other users to see them from a different point of view.

Our Story allows the internal team of Snapchat editors to turn public posts into themed editions of public events and breaking news stories – similar to Twitter’s ‘Moments’.

“With the expansion, Snapchat will continue to make Our Story’s, but is now letting publishers do the same, starting with a group of 26 media companies ranging from big TV programmers such as CNN and Viacom to social meme publishers like Daquan,” reports Digiday writer Sahil Patel.

Publishers will be able to create stories from users’ public posts and post them on Snapchat Discover as well as embed them on their own websites and apps.

This will make it even easier for publishers to share news on multiple platforms, as they can just grab a video or image from public sources and share them wherever they so choose.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Choosing the right social media platforms for your business can be tricky – luckily, we’ve created A three-step guide to choosing the best social media platforms for your business to help you out.

*Image courtesy of Vecteezy