The Instagram handle @jack is back for grabs. Twitter co-founder and previous CEO Jack Dorsey, now Block CEO, deactivated his first-name Instagram account today. If the handle becomes available again, someone may make a lot of money by buying it. Most secondary market handles go for thousands of dollars.
Dorsey removed the account following years of inactivity on decentralised social media Nostr.
“Don’t know why it took me so long,” he wrote. I guess I was one of the first 10 platform accounts and angel investors. Dorsey wrote that Odeo intern Kevin Systrom was Instagram co-founder. (Odeo, founded in 2005 by Noah Glass and Evan Williams, became the Obvious Corporation, which founded Twitter.)
When Instagram was sold to Facebook (now Meta), Dorsey stopped using it, as described in Sarah Frier’s book, “No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram.”
Dorsey and Systrom were friends while working at Odeo, and Twitter wanted to buy Instagram but was rebuffed. The book claims that Dorsey quit posting to Instagram when Systrom didn’t notify him it was selling to Facebook for $1 billion. The book said he hadn’t posted since April 9, 2012, when he learned Instagram was sold. The snapshot showed an empty San Francisco bus.
That and other photographs are lost since instagaram.com/jack is dead.
The account cancellation is important because Instagram now competes with Twitter with Threads, a microblogging service. In response to a screenshot of Google Bard’s inaccurate AI-generated output that called Dorsey a winner from the Twitter sale, Dorsey reminded another Nostr user that he still had a share in Twitter, now X.
Former Twitter CEO has supported other social networks that compete with Twitter, so account termination is likely not sour grapes about Threads.
While CEO of Twitter, Dorsey hatched Bluesky, a Twitter competitor. Bluesky reported receiving $13 million from Twitter to begin R&D last year. It raised further seed funding.
Dorsey also donated $245,000 in bitcoin to Nostr, another decentralised networking system. He now posts to Nostr, which is available through clients like Damus, which returned to the App Store following a summer ban for rules infractions.
The Twitter co-founder closed today’s tweet with, “Will be interesting to see what happens with the @name…”