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Instagram Co-Founder Joins Walmart Board

OMG, get ready for the Wal-Selfie. Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, 30, is joining the board of directors for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the retail leviathan announced Monday, reflecting the company’s keen interest in ramping up its efforts in e-commerce and social media engagement, with a focus on mobile.

Systrom is the 15th member of the corporate board, and will sit on the Technology and eCommerce Committee, as well as Walmart’s Compensation, Nominating and Governance Committee.

Walmart chairman Rob Walton explained: “Kevin’s entrepreneurial background and his technical and digital expertise will be invaluable as we further connect with customers and deploy new capabilities through e-commerce and mobile channels. Walmart is investing in e-commerce capabilities through talent, technology and fulfillment. Kevin’s passion and deep knowledge of social media align with our focus to engage customers through our digital and physical channels.”

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Systrom confirmed that his bailiwick centers on e-commerce: “It’s an honor to join the Walmart Board and have an opportunity to help provide more convenient and flexible ways for people to shop.”

The appointment is interesting, considering that Instagram has yet to roll out its own e-commerce strategy, but presumably Walmart and Systrom know something the rest of us don’t. Facebook, which bought Instagram for over $700 million in 2012, has been experimenting with e-commerce with the addition of a “buy” button to ads and page posts to purchase items without having to leave the site.  

According to the company’s announcement, “The current test is limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US. We’ll share more information as we gather feedback.”

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