Instagram, the cool app that allows you to take a photo, then upload it to Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr, is enjoying a rapid path of growth, with 5 million users (now up to 7 million users) and 1 million daily uploads. While Instagram works to find a way to monetize all that traffic, it’s added it’s fifth employee, a “Community Evangelist.”
According to Gabriel Beltrone of AD Week, Jessica Zollman becomes that Community Evangelist, and joins a small but growing group of people who’s charge it is to simply keep the troops using Instagram. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom told Beltrone that Zollman will help by working with the user base, “That’s everything from community outreach to holding events, to writing on our blog, to helping people with their technical support issues, to helping write copy for future launches.”
A Community Evangelist is somewhat different from a Community Manger, the better known title in the Internet industry to date. Community Mangers preside over forums and act at moderators of the forum, but don’t act as cheerleaders for a forum.
In an increasingly competitive Internet business environment, companies like Instagram, or for that matter Tout.com, the 15-second video site that’s a combination of Twitter and YouTube (and in disclosure was started by my friend Michael Dowling), are just a click away from losing users to other platforms or to just plain inactivity. Community Evangelists are there to help keep users active and engaged in the micro-universe they work within.
Zollman’s job is very much like that of Tout’s “Intern Katie” who goes around the Tout universe, welcoming new “Touters,” liking the “moments” Touters produce (like mine), and working to draw new users to Tout.com. Some of her Touts are totally hilarious. Check them out: