Edge spent the last four-plus years at Facebook (where he led the company’s marketing efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa), then at Facebook-owned Instagram (where he worked on brand strategy). He told me he hadn’t been planning to leave, but when he learned about PicsArt, he thought it was “pushing into the future” and saw an opportunity to build something new.
At first glance, you might think PicsArt sounds like a direct competitor to Instagram — in fact, Edge said he was “just as guilty of this as anyone else.”
After taking a closer look, however, he argued that they’re “fundamentally different.” Where Instagram allows people use photos to share moments in their lives, Edge said PicsArt is more about “collaborative content creation.” After all, PicsArt users can post their photo with a #freetoedit hashtag and see what the rest of the community does with it.
By hiring Edge (who has also worked as global communications officer at ad agency Havas Worldwide), PicsArt seems to be signaling its intention to bring more brands and marketers into the app. Edge said that’s a “fair characterization,” adding that thus far, the company has been focused on building the community: “At some point, I think there’s a huge opportunity for brands to be part of the things we do.”
PicsArt hired Wilson Kriegel, formerly of Paltalk and OMGPOP, about a year ago, and since then it raised its first outside funding from Sequoia. PicsArt says it currently has 65 million monthly active users.
“This is a company that’s really started to gain traction in the market,” Edge said. “Now it needs someone to come in and help build the business. I’m wired for that.”