Variety NY digital editor Todd Spangler sat down with two top execs at Instagram for the Variety Entertainment and Technology Summit, presented by City National Bank in October 2020.
Vishal Shah and Claudine Cazian, heads of product and entertainment partnerships, respectively, joined Spangler to discuss how the Facebook-owned social media giant has been navigating a tumultuous time in global history and the ensuing trends and booms in usage they’ve noticed and dealt with.
“We saw a lot of accelerated usage of our platform as people started sheltering in place, and ensuring that the site could stay up and running was our first priority,” said Shah. “So making sure we could do that from an engineering perspective was really important to us, and then very quickly reacting to how people were using Instagram.”
“[We] had stickers like the stay home sticker, and the ability to help people come together. We saw new use cases like [Instagram] Live really take hold,” he continued.
Cazian elaborated on just how popular Instagram Live became throughout 2020.
“Live absolutely exploded on Instagram,” she said. “You had DJs, you had chefs, you had fitness instructors, you had public figures all taking to the platform to connect with their audiences with one really common theme, and that was, ‘How can I help? What can I do?'”
“You sort of had the democratization of content happening in real time,” she explained further. “People were stuck at homes, you don’t have professionals around you [to help].”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the Hollywood community start to adapt that model when things go back to normal,” she finished.