The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is not thrilled with the TikTok Competitor Reels site. During an interview with The Verge’s Decoder podcast today, he discussed the format, which launched in the US in August.
He went on to claim that right now the team is more focused on “table stakes” and not honed in on how to distinguish itself. Specifically, he points out the groundbreaking artistic resources of TikTok, such as filters and effects that spur new video meme formats as something that Instagram does not yet render on its own, but inevitably needs to do.
I think we have to get better at building more strong and innovative instruments that are not necessarily a meme or a kind of moment in a box, but offer the opportunity to make something that can pop to people who are more creative than us and make material for a living, he implies.
Instagram is now experiencing a tension between the several video formats that are distinct. Mosseri claims “most individuals” typically don’t know the difference between videos uploaded to Instagram and IGTV, the longer video format of the app that has existed since 2018.
This is a wildly different sound from when the medium was introduced by Instagram and called it “video’s future.” But it points to TikTok’s exponential growth, which was not fully established in popular culture in 2018, but is now a force of discourse, memes, and viral dances. Mosseri indicates that IGTV and Reels require some kind of stabilization and transparency, as well as general videos posted to the Instagram grid, which makes sense, especially when the app is attempting to do something all at once.