Apple’s Phil Schiller: Instagram Snob

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Apple / Jared Newman/TIME.com
Apple / Jared Newman/TIME.com

When Instagram arrived on Android a couple weeks ago, we all laughed at iPhone users who were disgusted with the Android riff-raff in their exclusive photo-sharing club. Turns out one of those snobbish iPhone users was Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

As 9to5Mac tells it, Schiller used to have an Instagram account under the name “@schiller.” After Instagram launched its Android app, Schiller’s account disappeared. When asked about the account deletion by a Twitter follower, Schiller responded that the app “jumped the shark” when it launched for Android phones.

(MORE: No Joke: Instagram Is Finally Available for Android)

Schiller then clarified his remarks to another user by e-mail:

Instagram is a great app and community. That hasn’t changed.
But one of the things I really liked about Instagram was that it was a small community of early adopters sharing their photographs.
Now that it has grow [sic] much larger the signal to noise ratio is different.
That isn’t necessarily good or bad, it’s just not what I originally had fun with.

It’s a weak argument given that Instagram had 30 million users before the Android app came into being, yet Schiller only deleted his account recently.

I’ve seen arguments that the iPhone 4S takes better pictures than most Android phones, therefore the quality of Instagram photos has fallen in the past couple of weeks, but older iPhones can use Instagram too, and their cameras–particularly on the iPhone 3GS and earlier–are terrible by today’s standards.

So really, there’s no explanation here besides not wanting to associate with the Android crowd. That’s understandable, perhaps, given Schiller’s position, but sad nonetheless. I guess he’ll have to get his hipster filters elsewhere.

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