Instagram Chief Moving to London as TikTok Battle Ramps Up

Meta’s head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, is moving across the pond to the company’s King’s Cross offices in London, where he will hire more developers as part of the platform’s ongoing efforts to claw back users and market share from TikTok, say unnamed sources speaking to the Financial Times.

Mosseri will bring even more workers into Meta’s London offices, which already house 4,000 employees.

TikTok and Instagram are embroiled in a heated battle for audiences and time spent on their apps. Instagram has twice as many monthly active users (around 2 billion) as the Chinese video-first social media app, but TikTok is growing much faster. According to a recent survey, TikTok has become the fastest-growing news source for adults in the U.K.

One source with knowledge of the matter said the move was a cost-saving measure, since hiring software engineers is cheaper in the U.K. than in San Francisco, where Instagram is headquartered, speaking to the Financial Times.

Mosseri getting the green light to bring more employees aboard in the first place is surprising given that Meta is trying to slow hiring and cut costs. The company reported its first-ever drop in revenues last week.

Instagram recently overhauled its app to focus more on video, including more algorithmically-suggested, auto-playing videos in users’ feeds and turning all video posts into Reels to better compete with TikTok. A major chunk of users, including high-profile personalities like the Kardashian family, didn’t take too kindly to Instagram “trying to be TikTok.”

Mosseri said last month that Instagram would continue to pivot more towards video over time. However, Instagram has since said it will walk back some of the changes. Meta still has a TikTok-inspired redesign planned for Instagram’s sister platform Facebook, though.