The Big Read: The Master of Destruction Rides AgainRead more

Aleen Dreksler, CEO and co-founder of Betches Media. Photo: Claire Esparros

‘We Cannot Control’ the Social Platforms: Instagram-Famous Betches Looks Beyond the Apps

Photo: Aleen Dreksler, CEO and co-founder of Betches Media. Photo: Claire Esparros

Betches Media started in 2011 as a blog focused on millennial women. As Instagram gained traction, its three co-founders—Aleen Dreksler, Jordana Abraham and Samantha Sage— shifted to building a presence on the app. That paid off in terms of followers, which now number more than 8 million on its main account. But the experience drove home a lesson many creators have learned over the last few years: You can’t be too dependent on social platforms, which make constant changes to algorithms and features.  

“We cannot control—especially as they fight each other—the social platforms,” Betches CEO Dreksler said in an interview. The company, which has avoided big VC funding, found itself constantly trying to keep up with new Instagram features. “Every time there was a new product, [such as disappearing] Stories, we were just like, ‘We must be on Stories,’” she said. 

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Microsoft's Satya Nadella, left, and Peter Lee. Photo by Bloomberg, Microsoft
How Microsoft Swallowed Its Pride to Make a Massive Bet on OpenAI
Satya Nadella didn’t want to hear it. Last December, Peter Lee, who oversees Microsoft’s sprawling research efforts, was briefing Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, and his deputies about a series of tests Microsoft had conducted of GPT-4, the then-unreleased new artificial intelligence large-language model built by OpenAI.
Art by Clark Miller
The AI Age e-commerce ai
How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI Responses
When Andy Wilson’s company received its first successful client referral through ChatGPT, he was shaken to his core.
Chris Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime.
Exclusive startups Finance
Chime’s Slowdown Highlights Limits of Bank Disruptors
Chime found a way to offer zero-fee banking services without being a bank itself. But that approach is starting to show its limits.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read markets Finance
The Master of Destruction Rides Again
In the spring of 2022, the irascible Wall Street short seller Marc Cohodes was in a particularly foul mood.
Art by Mike Sullivan
startups asia
Venture Capitalists Face Pressure to Divest From China
Silicon Valley venture capitalists are coming to terms with a new reality: Their once-prized China investments may be victims of a simmering cold war.
Art by Clark Miller.
Social Studies culture
The Day TikTok Went Dark in India
On June 29, 2020, as thunderstorms swept Mumbai and daily Covid-19 cases in India surged by almost 20,000, millions of people began experiencing a flood of network errors on their mobile devices.