VP Of Business Jim Squires On Why Instagram Is A Force For Good

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About two weeks ago, when this podcast was recorded with Jim Squires, VP of business and media at Instagram, Facebook’s acquisition of GIPHY and the rollout of Facebook Shops were two of the top business stories du jour.

Today, it’s hard to imagine focusing on any story other than the killing of George Floyd, which has sparked outrage and protests across the nation.

On Tuesday, Instagram was flooded with black squares posted by millions of users and businesses in solidarity with the BLM movement. Instagram has long been a fertile platform for activism, from the Women’s March to abortion rights in Ireland.

“Like so many parts of our lives, how people use Instagram has been transformed in the unprecedented events of recent weeks and months,” Jim told AdExchanger this week. “We’ve seen movements emerge on the platform, calling for racial justice and equality in the United States and becoming a worldwide conversation.”

“Now more than ever it’s important that everyone has a voice,” Jim says, “and we’ve been inspired to see people using Instagram to amplify their voice in order to educate, engage and offer support to millions of people around the world during this important moment.”

In this episode: Jim on what Facebook and Instagram are doing to help small businesses through the pandemic; the rise of Instagram Live; Instagram’s unique approach to ecommerce; and memes as “a new visual language. He also shares his grilling war stories (the family dog has a taste for burgers).

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