Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri states he is “not yet happy” with Instagram Reels, the social platform’s answer to TikTok, in an interview with 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 says.
Reels launched in August, right at the crest of TikTok ban news. In the months since, Mosseri says Instagram has worked to better differentiate Reels from TikTok. He references how TikTok’s array of filters and effects have catalyzed viral trends and explains Instagram hopes to build more tools for Reels which are less tied to existing memes and instead “give people who are more creative than us and make content for a living the ability to make something that’s going to pop.”
On the plus side, Mosseri reports Reels has “momentum” and says he finds more creators are natively creating Reels, rather than simply uploading TikTok videos
Mosseri also speaks to the challenge of trying to juggle the platform’s various video formats (like Reels, IGTV and standard in-feed videos) and clues that greater consolidation of the formats and clarity on their applications may be in the future.
You can listen to the full interview or read the transcript here, which also covers recent bans of President Donald Trump from several major social networks, the Facebook anti-trust lawsuit, and how much responsibility social media platforms must take for what their algorithms amplify.