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Instagram Chief on What TikTok Does Better

Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri shares his views on what TikTok is currently doing better for creators and everyday users.

This is discussed as part of a Creator Week Q&A that tackles a number of different topics relevant to content creators.

Mosseri answers questions about engagement and reach, monetization, the perils of fake followers, when Reels is launching in other countries, and more.

It’s not a common occurrence for the head of a company to praise its competition, so let’s jump right to that part.

What Does TikTok Do Better Than Instagram?

Mosseri credits TikTok’s ability to build social media stars, which is something he wants Instagram to be more capable of doing.

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He acknowledges Instagram is effective at helping creators stay connected with their established audience, but it falls short when it comes to helping new creators build that audience in the first place.

“TikTok does two things really well, and better than Instagram, that I want us to catch up with but we have yet to. One is, from a creator perspective, it does a much better job at breaking new talent.

Instagram is much better at helping creators that have already made a name for themselves do more online. TikTok is better at identifying new and young talent and helping them break out in the first place.

And we want to be really good at that. We have historically focused on that less, but I’m pushing my teams hard at getting better at doing well by the little guy.”

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The second thing TikTok does better than Instagram, according to Mosseri, is provide a reliable source of entertainment for users.

Instagram is trying to catch up to TikTok with Reels, but Mosseri says the company has a long way to go.

“[TikTok is] much more reliable in terms of being just a really entertaining thing. You know that you can tap on TikTok and you’re going to immediately smile and be entertained.

We’re getting better. Reels’ growth has been really strong, but we are still much smaller than TikTok and have a long way to go at catching up with the competition. But those are the two things that I think they do better.”

Mosseri concludes his thoughts on this subject by stating he feels Instagram ultimately has more to offer to creators.

TikTok only has video, whereas Instagram allows creators to express themselves through different formats.

That’s what makes Instagram unique compared to the other platforms out there, Mosseri says:

“From a creator’s perspective, broadly though, I feel like we have more to offer. And I think what we have to offer is relatively unique.

A unique combination of a whole suite of different formats, because maybe you’re not a video creator. A global reach, and a product that is very designed with an individual person or even a creator in mind.

Most of the other platforms, and there’s a lot of competition out there, are focused more on one type of storyline.”

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Other Highlights From Mosseri’s Q&A

Instagram Reach

Every creator wants to know how they can grow their reach on Instagram, but Mosseri says there’s “no silver bullet.”

Further, it’s impossible to guarantee stability once a creator’s reach has grown to a level they’re satisfied with.

Even if Instagram’s algorithms never changed how they rank content, peoples’ interests change. What they want to see today might not be what they’re interested in seeing next week.

Mosseri does offer a few pointers, however, which include:

  • Experiment and try new things
  • Utilize video
  • Catch viewers’ attention in the first few seconds of a video
  • Use hashtags
  • Publish multiple times a day in different formats

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Misc Highlights

Here are some miscellaneous highlights regarding other topics discussed during the Q&A:

  • If a creator is denied verification it’s likely because they lack notoriety.
  • The only thing limiting Reels’ expansion to other countries is music rights.
  • Instagram is looking into more monetization features, which may include ways for users to pay creators directly.
  • Buying fake followers is highly discouraged, and could result in users losing their accounts.

For more from the head of Instagram, see the full Q&A.

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