This week, Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer, Adam Mosseri, spent time on stage with us in New York City sharing the insights and the challenges that the company faces and how it plans to tackle it. Listen to my Q&A with him below.
Who is the typical Instagram user?
“We love showing off the amazing hashtags and ways to visually express yourself via hashtags, but we’re not sure how much they actually use them.”
What are the other user communities on Instagram?
“Everyone is really into music. There are [1.36 billion] followers and [14 million] videos per minute. Everyone loves the Oscars because there’s no filter and it’s real and it’s fun.”
The platform has become a destination for beauty content. Are these users real consumers or do they use the platform as a stock photo?
“Ninety-eight percent of our content is for real beauty influencers and their followers. To me, it’s a real representation of the true beauty enthusiast. Real consumers shop, but I know the difference between stock photos and real humans or real models.”
Do you have a Facebook page?
“We don’t have any, but our hope is that Instagram can become a photo-centric platform.”
What about the news feed? Are you expanding its scope with auto-playing videos and Instagram Stories?
“Absolutely not. With videos, the goal is to make it less annoying for people and make sure people keep posting.”
What can Instagram users expect from an Instagram redesign?
“I think Instagram’s mission is to make sharing simpler, faster and easier, and we’re making huge investments into that. We’re building features on top of the app to make it simpler to engage with Stories and people.”
It seems like the majority of popular Instagram accounts are PR-approved, yet you said that is changing. Why?
“More people are building brands than ever before. We are really encouraging brands to share their Stories with followers and that really comes through on Instagram. It’s a lot less important to have account management than it was years ago.”
What tips can you give to Instagram influencers who want to build a brand?
“Find a favorite influencer and be inspired by their aesthetic and then chase them down and mimic their aesthetic. Also, treat Instagram like a platform—i.e. to take your images and post them to multiple accounts. If you don’t have an Instagram or Snapchat account, create one and jump on Instagram Stories and do the same. Post frequently and post in the moment.”
And how can other social media platforms build a thriving advertising business without doing advertising?
“Use Instagram like you would any other ad platform. Make creative, well-designed, relevant ads that solve a customer problem. Spend money to tell more stories about what your customers are doing and capturing.”