Head of Instagram: ‘TikTok Is Ahead’

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said that he is not happy with the current situation of Instagram’s short video format ‘Reels’ and said ‘’we have to be honest that TikTok is ahead.”

In November 2019, Instagram started testing its short video feature Reels in Brazil where it was called ”Cenas” at first. After a short while, the feature was made available also in Germany and France.

In July 2020, Instagram Reels arrived in India just after the Indian government banned TikTok as well as many other China-based apps. The short video feature expanded to more global markets in the following months. 

TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics

Instagram Revenue and Usage Statistics

The number of Reels users is increasing more and more with each passing day. However, the head of Instagram said that he isn’t thrilled with where Reels is now. 

“I’m not yet happy with it,” he said during The Verge’s Decoder podcast. “We’re growing both in terms of how much people are sharing and how much people are consuming, but we have a long way to go.’’ 

‘’And we have to be honest that TikTok is ahead”, he added.

He said that the Reels team is currently focused on ‘’table stakes’’ instead of the ways how it can differentiate itself. 

“I think we have to get better at building more powerful and creative tools that aren’t necessarily a meme or a sort of moment in a package, but give people who are more creative than us and make content for a living the ability to make something that’s going to pop.” 

Mosseri also said that there’s a conflict between Instagram’s video formats including Reels and IGTV. “That’s probably too nuanced a distinction to resonate with anybody, so we’re looking about how we can — not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram — simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets,” Mosseri said. 

“I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

Written by Maya Robertson

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