The head of Instagram is temporarily relocating to London less than a week after the Meta-owned company faced outrage from influencers such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner over changes to the popular photo-sharing app.
Adam Mosseri, who has a strong relationship with the billionaire Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg, will move to the company’s offices in King’s Cross amid the tech firm’s battle for users with its Chinese rival TikTok.
A Meta spokesperson told the Guardian: “Given the global nature of his role, Adam will be temporarily based out of London later this year.
“London is already Meta’s largest engineering hub outside of the US, with over 4,000 employees across our offices, including a dedicated Instagram product team with people focused on building long term solutions for creators.”
The 39-year-old will reportedly be seeking to hire more staff in the capital’s product team because it is cheaper to recruit tech professionals in London than in San Francisco, where the company has its headquarters.
Instagram could also take advantage of changes to research and development tax credits that offer incentives for innovation, according to reports first appearing in the Financial Times.
News of Mosseri’s move across the pond comes after the fierce rivalry between Instagram and TikTok hit the headlines last week after the Meta-owned company made changes to the photo-sharing app sparking criticism that it was “mimicking” the Chinese social media firm.
Instagram trialled the new features, such as recommended video content, on Thursday but was forced into a screeching U-turn after comments from unhappy users.
To make matters worse, influencer royalty Kardashian and her sister, Jenner shared an online petition to their stories to “Make Instagram Instagram again” and urged “stop trying to be TikTok”.
In an interview responding to the criticism, Mosseri told the tech newsletter Platformer: “I’m glad we took a risk – if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough.
“But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we’ve learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration. So we’re going to work through that.”
It comes as Meta, who also owns WhatsApp and Facebook, reported its first ever decline in revenue last week due to a weak advertising market.