15 Power Players at Instagram Leading Its Creator Economy Efforts - Business Insider

For many creators, talent managers, and marketers, understanding the ins and outs of Instagram and Facebook is an integral part of the job description.
Yet despite being two of the largest social media platforms, much about how the platforms operate and who is behind their day-to-day operations remains obscure. 
“The hardest platform to find someone is Instagram,” Reagan Yorke, a content creator with 107,000 followers on Instagram and 3.2 million on TikTok, told Insider. “I have a manager specifically for TikTok and for Snapchat, but Instagram’s my only one that’s kind of always been hidden.”
Another content creator, who wished to remain anonymous because of an ongoing business relationship with Instagram, described the platform as “very elusive.”
But that has started to change. Over the past few years, both Facebook and Instagram have turned their focus on the creator ecosystem that is driving traffic and revenue across the platforms. From a $1 billion investment into monetization tools for creators to setting up one-on-one strategy meetings with influencers, Meta, the platforms’ parent company, is reaching out its hands — to some.
“Some creators are going to be assigned to an actual creator manager,” said Qianna Smith Bruneteau, founder of the American Influencer Council, a trade organization for the creator economy. “Typically, that privilege has gone to macro or mega creators.” But over time, those resources have “slowly” trickled down to smaller creators, she added. 
“Micro” influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers on Instagram are now being tapped for exclusive beta tests, and some are collaborating directly with Meta to create content for the company’s own pages on Instagram and TikTok (i.e. the “@Creators” accounts). 
For example, Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe, a fashion and beauty influencer with about 20,000 followers, was brought on as an early tester of Instagram’s native affiliate marketing tools last year. Through the program, she realized she had a go-to contact at Instagram when she needed help: Sarah Steckler, a product marketing manager at Instagram. 
“I know that if I have an issue, I can reach out to her [or] she’ll get me in touch with the right person,” Everett-Ratcliffe said.
Other influencers rely on their talent managers, who often serve as a liaison between the platforms and their clients. 
“If you are somebody where Instagram is your bread and butter, you want to be in the know with what’s happening on that platform,” Becca Bahrke, CEO of talent firm Illuminate Social, said. She recommends that creators who are looking for management seek out companies who have established relationships with platforms like Instagram.
Some agencies and firms even have access to an expedited support portal that helps managers get in touch with someone at the company about glitches or questions about new features.
“Ultimately, a lot of times, you just need someone to be able to walk you through and do things on the backend that you might not be able to,” said Renee Ogaki, founder and CEO of PR and marketing agency Ogaki Digital. 
Everett-Ratcliffe didn’t get plucked out of a pool of millions of users on Instagram when she was invited to Instagram’s affiliate test; the opportunity came from a connection she’d built. 
“All of this happened because of someone I met through ShopStyle,” Everett-Ratcliffe said, referring to the affiliate-marketing platform. That ShopStyle contact, who she’d met at an industry conference, later moved to Instagram and reached out about the platform’s in-development affiliate tool, Everett-Ratcliffe said.
Meta employees are actively speaking and appearing at industry events. In March, Meta hosted its “Creator House” in collaboration with Rolling Stone at SXSW, and two Meta execs spoke at Shoptalk, a retail industry conference in Las Vegas.
Other executives, like Instagram’s VP of Fashion Eva Chen, can be spotted attending events like fashion week.
An introduction to one of these employees can build a lasting connection, Bahrke said, adding that even following an employee on Instagram directly after the event can help. 
“We email them and always try to build relationships given the fact that a lot of them are somewhat of an influencer themselves,” Ogaki told Insider.
“You can find ways to build those relationships, even if you don’t have their email,” she added. “Maybe you are DMing and sharing things with them. You can include them in a gifting list, or if you’re a creator, you can find a way to introduce yourself or tag them in a piece of content that you think would be interesting to them.”
So who exactly should creators, marketers, and managers be networking with — or following — at Meta? 
Insider checked in with 20 industry insiders, including creators, talent managers, marketers, and former Meta employees, to better understand who’s who at Meta. Insider’s sources identified employees who have stood out, from top executives like Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri to partnership managers who work with creators and their teams daily.
Several industry sources named Meta staffers who are part of the company’s broader “Creator Partnerships” team, which “works directly with thousands of Creators to help them build their brands and their businesses across Meta platforms,” according to a recent job listing for a strategic partner manager.
Meta declined to provide comment for this story, but did confirm the accuracy of employees’ titles.
Here are 15 power players at Meta who work with creators and influencer industry leaders:
Note: Meta employees are listed alphabetically. Some job descriptions use information from LinkedIn profiles.
Besidone Amoruwa works closely with creators on Instagram as a partnerships manager. Specifically, she works on metaverse and Web3 partnerships across the entertainment space, including with creators, per her LinkedIn. 
Amoruwa has also helped increase the visibility of Black beauty influencers, such as Jackie Aina (1.8 million followers) and Kahh Spence (112,000 followers), according to a profile of Amoruwa in The Cut.
Justin Antony joined Instagram’s creator partnerships team in 2016 after leaving a post at Nickelodeon as vice president of social media marketing.
Antony is known for working on Instagram’s video products like IGTV and Reels, as well as scoping out emerging talent. 
He told The Verge in a 2019 interview that he helped pop star Olivia Rodrigo grow her Instagram community when she was still an up-and-coming actress, years before her single “Driver’s License” went viral on TikTok. 
Last year, he spoke with Insider about how Reels can help drive growth and engagement for some creators.
Eva Chen is the VP of Fashion at Instagram and helps fashion figures — from designers to stylists — use Instagram to grow their followings and connect with fans.
On the platform, Chen has 2 million followers and is as active as any influencer, posting about new Instagram features and sharing photos in the famous “Eva Chen Pose,” with her feet laid out across the back seat of a car.
Before joining Instagram, Chen was the editor in chief at the now-defunct fashion magazine, Lucky. Chen also works with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on the Vogue Fashion Fund.
Her team at Instagram includes Virginia “Ginny” Nam, who is the Head of Fashion Programs at Instagram.
Kristie Dash works with beauty brands and creators at Instagram as the lead for beauty partnerships. Like Eva Chen, Dash’s career started out at fashion magazines like Allure and Lucky, where she was Chen’s assistant.
“It was our job to tell people’s stories in the pages of a magazine, where on Instagram, we’re essentially taking that skillset and passing it on to the creators and brands that we work with,” Dash told Insider in 2020
Dash is active on Instagram and will often go live with beauty influencers and brands, showcasing Instagram-native shopping tools.
Mitzi Gaitan is a partnerships manager at Instagram where she works closely with emerging creators.
Gaitan, like other strategic partnership managers overseeing digital creators, maintains relationships with individual creators and educates creators about best practices on Instagram.
Insider spoke with Gaitan in 2021 about how emerging creators can utilize Reels.
Justin Johnson works with creators across Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram.
He has been at Facebook for more than seven years and was “part of the initial launch team responsible for developing partnerships and engagement strategy across both FB/IG and top YouTube content creators,” according to his LinkedIn. 
Johnson actively posts about Meta news, Web3, and thoughts on the broader creator economy on LinkedIn.
Michelle Mitchell is a strategic communities program manager at Meta.
She leads the We The Culture program, a “creative community” that launched in 2021 with the goal to amplify Black creators, educate on best practices across platforms, and fund creative projects, Mitchell told Insider in 2021. 
“We the Culture started from a group of passionate Black employees who wanted to shape the story of how our apps are bringing light and love to the Black experience every day,” Mitchell said in an interview with Essence last year.
While securing a one-on-one meeting with Instagram’s de facto CEO may not be an easy feat, Adam Mosseri is one of the more public execs at Meta. 
With over 1.3 million Instagram followers, Mosseri’s account is frequently updated with Instagram news and videos about product releases, and he typically hosts an “Ask Me Anything” series of stories once a week. Plus, sometimes he posts Reels titled “Hidden Gems” that break down certain tools, like a recent Reel that revealed what Meta’s NFT project is called internally.
“We share his videos a lot,” Bahrke said, adding that she recommends creators follow Mosseri on Instagram.
Michaela O’Shaughnessy is the editorial lead for the @Creators account on Instagram, which shares everything from infographics about how to use new features to videos made by creators sharing advice.
Instagram taps creators big and small to make content for the @Creators accounts.
Andrew Rico is a manager on Instagram’s creator partnerships team who works with creators and their managers, according to two managers Insider spoke with. 
Rico also hosts Instagram’s “Reels Star Search” series on the @Creators account, which features breakout social-media stars who share advice about creating content.
Isaac Rosales is a creator partnerships manager at Meta, meaning he works on building relationships with creators. 
In March, Rosales moderated a panel at SXSW in Austin, Texas with creators Daphnique Springs (563,000 Instagram followers) and Markian Benhamou (1 million Instagram followers) at Meta’s “Creator House” event.
Ricky Sans is the head of memes at Instagram.
He regularly meets with memers across the platform. Before the pandemic, Instagram would invite meme creators to the office in New York to meet with Sans and other Instagram figureheads, one creator told Insider.
Sarah Steckler is one of the product marketers working with creators on shopping features, such as Instagram’s affiliate tools. 
Before joining Instagram, Steckler worked at Amazon.
Kimber Warren-Davis works on creator marketing at Instagram for video products like Reels. Product marketing managers, like Warren-Davis, typically help in “supporting go-to-market plans for creator-facing launches,” according to a recent Meta job posting. 
Warren-Davis hosts a series on Clubhouse called “Answered,” where she brings on other Instagram employees and creators to discuss best practices on the app, specifically Reels.
Ashley Yuki was named co-head of product for Instagram in 2021, a title she shares with Max Eulenstein. Yuki and Eulenstein took over the role after VP of product Vishal Shah moved on to head up Meta’s metaverse team. 
Yuki sometimes goes live with creators on the @Creators account to talk about products like subscriptions.
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