[WMD 2016] Instagram, George Lee "Running growth for a 116 million user social network" | Summary and Q&A

November 8, 2016
500 Global
YouTube video player
[WMD 2016] Instagram, George Lee "Running growth for a 116 million user social network"


Former head of growth at Instagram shares insights on growth strategies, including the importance of intentionality, awareness, and consistency, as well as tips on understanding and targeting different user groups.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Key Insights

  • ❓ Growth doesn't happen on its own; it requires intentionality, awareness, and consistency.
  • 👥 Don't focus solely on acquisition and retention; understand and address the needs of different user groups.
  • 🉐 Quantitative data should be complemented by qualitative insights to gain a holistic understanding.
  • ▶️ Product evolution is essential for sustained growth; don't be afraid to evolve and fix forward.
  • ⚖️ Implement roadmaps with a specific timeframe and maintain a balance between experimentation and execution.
  • 💌 Email campaigns, brand changes, and local content integration can have a significant impact on growth.
  • 🌍 International growth can be driven by partnerships, localization, and a deep understanding of local preferences.


hello everyone um I wish I had one slide that said exactly what you just said that would have been that would have been done um cool so uh I've not done this presentation before so you guys are my guinea pigs um and I figured I'd go through this really quickly I think the most important thing to say first is that I'm actually the former head of gro... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do you know if growth is due to an optimal growth strategy or a fabulous product?

It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of growth, but structured experiments, holdouts, and tracking counter metrics can help evaluate the effectiveness of growth strategies and identify any potential product-related issues.

Q: What were some memorable growth campaigns at Instagram?

The speaker mentions email campaigns that resulted in significant bounce rates and the brand change campaign, which had both challenges and benefits for growth.

Q: How does it work with three roadmaps at once?

The three roadmaps are executed sequentially, with each roadmap consisting of a two-week planning phase and a six-week execution phase. This approach allows for focused execution while also providing buffer time for engineering and bug fixes.

Q: What were the main drivers of international growth for Instagram?

Integration with local platforms like VK and OK in Russia, prioritizing local content and accounts of interest to specific regions (e.g., cricket and Bollywood in India), and language localization were identified as key drivers of international growth.

Q: How should a growth team be structured for a startup?

A growth team should typically include members from product, analytics, research, design, engineering, and data science. This allows for a comprehensive approach to growth, considering acquisition, retention, and engagement across different user groups.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker, former head of growth at Instagram, discusses his experience and insights on growth strategies.

  • He emphasizes the importance of being intentional about growth, understanding the target audience, and being consistent in executing growth strategies.

  • He also shares examples of growth challenges and successes, such as international growth and the impact of product changes.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from 500 Global 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: