In a surprising move on August 18 2023, Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, announced his departure from Instagram, a platform he had been a part of for over a decade. This decision came amidst the ongoing conflict between tech titans Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and marked a significant stance in the evolving landscape of social media.
Dorsey, who was one of Instagram's early adopters and angel investors, took to Elon Musk's social platform, X (formerly Twitter), to share his decision with the world. He not only bid farewell to Instagram but also revealed that he did not possess Facebook or WhatsApp accounts, emphasizing his commitment to being "clear eyes, meta-free, can't lose."
This move by Dorsey raised eyebrows and ignited discussions, with some speculating that he was taking sides in the ongoing feud between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. In a podcast from 2020, Dorsey previously mentioned that he and Zuckerberg had "different approaches," hinting at underlying tensions but refraining from elaborating further. He had also been known to steer clear of Meta (formerly Facebook) products.
When a user inquired about his reasons for leaving Instagram, Dorsey cryptically replied, "All the reasons are too meta to be interesting," leaving room for interpretation and speculation about his motivations.
Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter in October 2022 after Dorsey's resignation as CEO in 2021, responded to Dorsey's departure with a fire emoji, hinting at his support for Dorsey's decision. This exchange further fueled rumors about Musk's intentions with his X profile, raising questions about his continued involvement with the platform.
The rift between Musk and Zuckerberg escalated with the launch of Meta's Threads, a direct competitor to Twitter, on July 5. Dorsey didn't hold back in expressing his disapproval, posting screenshots of Meta's user data to highlight privacy concerns and humorously responding to Zuckerberg's request to follow him on Threads with a "Too soon b."
Dorsey's departure from Instagram can be traced back to his history with social media rivalries. Notably, he invested in Instagram before it became the sensation it is today and expressed interest in acquiring it. However, Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012 left Dorsey "heartbroken," as he felt it slip through Twitter's fingers.
Over the years, Dorsey has not shied away from criticizing Mark Zuckerberg. In 2019, he announced Twitter's suspension of all political advertising, directly challenging Zuckerberg's stance on free speech. Dorsey also took jabs at Zuckerberg's Metaverse ambitions and the all-caps Facebook logo redesign.