20VC: Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri on Threads: The Journey from 0-100M Users; What Worked, What Didn’t and the Plans Ahead | Instagram: Biggest Mistakes, Successes, Misconceptions, TikTok Competition & The Future of Social Media; Interest Graph or Friend Graph?

Posted on 24th July 2023 by Harry

Adam Mosseri is the Head of Instagram, where he is responsible for overseeing the engineering, product, and business teams and leading Meta’s efforts on creators and Reels. Adam has been at Meta for more than fifteen years. He started at Meta as a designer for Facebook’s mobile app before moving to product management, where he led the Facebook News Feed product and engineering teams, and served as the Head of Facebook News Feed. Adam began his career founding a design consultancy focused on graphic, interaction, and exhibition design before joining TokBox as the company’s first designer.

In Today’s Discussion with Adam Mosseri We Discuss:

1. From Designer to Product Leader to Instagram CEO:

  • What did Adam learn from his first job bartending? How did it impact his approach to customer support and research?
  • What are the top 1-2 pieces of advice Adam would give to someone wanting to make the move from individual contributor to leader?
  • If Adam was “not amazing at anything”, what did he do that enabled him to rise above the rest and become CEO of Instagram?
  • What have been 1-2 of the biggest lessons from working with Mark Zuckerberg for 15 years?

2. A Deep Dive on the Wild Times as Instagram CEO:

  • What has been Adam’s single biggest mistake as CEO of Instagram?
  • What does Adam believe is the least known feature within Instagram that has made them successful?
  • What does Adam believe has been the biggest product decision he has made as CEO?
  • Why does Adam believe that Instagram is too complicated as a product?
  • Who does Adam believe is the most formidable competitor to Instagram?
  • Was Instagram Reels a simple copy of TikTok? What have Instagram learned from TikTok?
  • How does Adam respond to the statement that Instagram is a “copy-cat machine” and lacks innovaton?

3. Threads: The Journey from 0-100M Users in Three Days:

  • Did Adam and the team expect the response they got to Threads?
  • Why did they decide to break Threads out into a separate app?
  • What went into bootstrapping the Threads friendship and interest graph?
  • What was the Threads influencer activation strategy? What worked? What did not? Did they pay influencers? How did they choose which verticals to focus on?
  • What is Adam’s core focus with Threads today?
  • How is the team analysing and measuring retention? What are their goals?
  • What are the 1-2 core reasons why Threads would not work? How do they aim to prevent them?
  • In 12 months, where will Threads be?

4. The Future of Consumer Social: What Happens Now?

  • Does Adam believe we have seen the transition from the social graph to the interest graph? Is it that binary?
  • Is it possible to have both the interest and the friendship graph all in one app?
  • How does the monetization potential differ when comparing Threads (text) to Instagram (visual)?
  • How important is it for the next consumer social platforms to have stars that are native to their platform (Mr Beast on Youtube, D’Amelio on TikTok etc.)

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