VSCO hires Julie Inouye as its first comms head

The LinkedIn vet joined the photo app and creative channel last month.

Julie Inouye
Julie Inouye

OAKLAND, CA: Photo app and creative channel VSCO has named Julie Inouye as VP of communications, the company’s first comms hire.

Based in Oakland, California, Inouye reports to CEO and founder Joel Flory. She oversees the entire comms function.

Inouye joined VSCO on June 17 as the tech company leans into its next phase of growth and seeks to tell its story.

VSCO is a photo-editing and social media app that also functions as a "community platform" for creatives, Inouye said.

The company’s unique DNA presents a host of comms opportunities, which is why it hired Inouye for this role.

"It’s like a tip-of-the-iceberg feeling," Inouye said. "Lift it up and you’ll see so much more underneath. There are so many opportunities to share about this awesome place."

VSCO is hiring across all departments, including communications, she added. Its current headcount is around 120.

Unlike the Facebooks and Instagrams of the world, the primary driver of revenue at VSCO is its subscription service, which reached two million subscribers late last year and is expected to double this year, she added. Inouye explained that 70% of its community members are under 25, while 52% of its subscribers are under 25.

Inouye said VSCO doesn’t have an advertising business and everything in its feed is shown in chronological order. There are no public comments or likes and there is "no pressure," she added.

Forbes listed VSCO as a potential future $1 billion startup, estimating it was worth $500 million, based on the $90 million it has raised in a June 2019 article.

Inouye was senior director of corporate comms and marketing at LinkedIn. She left the professional social networking site because she wanted to be in the "building phase" of a company. When she joined, LinkedIn had 800 employees. Its headcount now stands at 15,000.

Prior to that, Inouye was senior manager of corporate comms at PlayStation. She was also corporate comms manager at Yahoo.

Nicole Leverich, a company veteran of more than four years, absorbed Inouye's responsibilities when Inouye left LinkedIn. Leverich oversees corporate comms, as well as engineering, reputation and culture communications.

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