Instagram's pursuit of the perfect office is revealed by ex-employee

Instagram’s extreme pursuit of the perfect office is revealed by ex-employee who says founder banned rubbish bins, tore down posters and threw away food while schmoozing with Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift

  • New book details how Instagram’s co-founders strove for picture perfect office
  • Mr Systrom removed bins from the office ahead of a visit from Kim Kardashian
  • Celebrities like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift were given special treatment by staff

Instagram’s extreme pursuit of the picture-perfect office has been revealed by a former employee who claims the company’s founders went to great lengths to keep it looking immaculate. 

The book ‘No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram’ by Bloomberg journalist Sarah Frier chronicles how rubbish bins were banned, posters were torn down and food not deemed Instagram-worthy enough was thrown out. 

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who left the company in 2018, explained how he was so concerned about the office aesthetic ahead of a visit from reality star Kim Kardashian, he removed all the small bins from under co-workers desks. 

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom (right) and Mike Krieger (left) who launched the company in 2010 

Employees sit next to a bar at the Instagram Inc. office in New York. The book ‘No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram’ by Bloomberg journalist Sarah Frier chronicles how rubbish bins were banned, posters were torn down and food not deemed Instagram-worthy enough was thrown out

Ahead of a visit from reality star Kim Kardashiant to the office, all the small bins were removed from under employees desks 

He explained his drastic decision by telling staff the bins did not fit with the ‘craft, beauty and simplicity’ of Instagram. 

This prompted a staff member to dress as a rubbish bin at the next Halloween party.  

Mr Systrom once tore down Facebook’s motivational posters from the office walls after growing sick of reading the phrase ‘Done is Better Than Perfect’ every day. 

Chief executive Mr Systrom even threw out a vat of potato salad at the request of staffers, who complained that the food was not ‘instagrammable’ enough.  

The book goes on to tell of the special treatment received by celebrities and other public figures by the company. Employees were flown out to New York to give Lady Gaga a personal lesson on how to use the app. 

They also travelled to Taylor Swift’s home in Los Angeles to ‘film her with her cats’. 

Instagram employees travelled to Taylor Swift’s home in Los Angeles to ‘film her with her cats’

Inside Instagram’s picture-perfect office in New York. Instagram was co-founded by Mr Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in 2010

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom (pictured in 2013), who left the company in 2018, explained how he was so concerned about the office aesthetic ahead of a visit from reality star Kim Kardashian, he removed all the small bins from under co-workers desks

Even Pope Francis was provided with a gift from the company when Mr Systrom held a meeting with him in Italy. 

The team presented the Pope with a selection of Instagram images they thought he would like, including of the refugee crisis. 

The Pope responded by saying it was not up to him before pointing at the sky and saying ‘Even I have a boss’. 

Instagram was co-founded by Mr Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in 2010.  

The video-sharing site was bought for $1 billion by Facebook in April 2012, when the company was just 18 months old. Many were skeptical of the decision but it was to prove very lucrative; Instagram made $20 billion in revenue last year, over a quarter of Facebook’s total sales. 

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