The battle for augmented reality and social media supremacy starts with the people working behind the scenes, and this week Snap pulled off a telling win that could indicate a shift in the AR space.
Facebook veteran Konstantinos "KP" Papamiltiadis, who spent nearly a decade at the social media giant, has left his post as an executive on Mark Zuckerberg's team and will join Snap as vice president of platform partnerships.
"KP has deep expertise in turning products into scaled platforms," said Ben Schwerin, Snap's senior vice president of content and partnerships. "We are thrilled to welcome him to the team, and look forward to working together to help partners around the world find creative ways to leverage Snap technology, including augmented reality and beyond."
Prior to Snap and Facebook, Papamiltiadis burnished his tech executive talents at Skype, Vodafone, and Yahoo.
However, Papamiltiadis isn't the only Facebook book veteran switching sides this month. Joe Darko, who served as the global lead for Facebook Reality Labs partnerships, is also joining Snap as its head of augmented reality developer relations, a vital role as Snap continues to build its Lens Studio community. Before his time at Facebook, Darko spent nearly eight years working at Microsoft to help build its developer community.
Generally, executive moves like these don't make headlines. But now that Snap has matured into a serious AR competitor versus Facebook, the company that famously tried to acquire it early on, these talent moves are particularly significant.
As we've mentioned before, beyond the software and the hardware, one of the biggest challenges Big Tech has on the way to mainstreaming AR is also developing the "culture" and trust around these products.
This latest exit from Facebook's ranks is not only a major win for Snap, it may also hint at more moves at the two companies as competition for talent continues to heat up.