LONDON: Instagram boss Adam Mosseri on Wednesday announced that he is temporarily moving to London, just a few days after the social media app faced a user backlash over the introduction of TikTok-style features.
The relocation of the Instagram head and close ally of Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg comes as the US company struggles to deal with the growing expansion of Chinese social media app TikTok.
“Given the global nature of his role, Adam will be temporarily based out of London later this year,” a Meta spokesperson said.
“London is already Meta’s largest engineering hub outside 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.”
Mosseri joined the tech giant in 2008 and led the team that developed Facebook’s News Feed, before becoming Instagram’s boss in 2018.
The 39-year-old is expected to expand the platform’s team in London, where the costs of recruiting and retaining tech professionals are considerably lower than in San Francisco, the company’s headquarters.
The relocation also takes place at a critical moment as the UK government prepares to introduce the Online Safety Bill, which will further regulate social media companies.
“(The UK) is seen increasingly as a world leader in terms of setting the tone on tech regulation. And so if you’re concerned about that, then that will definitely be one reason to be here,” said tech journalist and author Chris Stokel-Walker.
Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon have significant hubs in the UK capital, and Snapchat and TikTok are increasing their presence there.
Instagram could also take advantage of UK government tax credits offering incentives for innovation, research and development.
Reports suggest that Mosseri is also moving for family reasons. Meta’s relaxed office policies, first introduced during the pandemic, have prompted several executives to work away from the company’s Menlo Park headquarters.
“They also move because they see the US so factionalized. As San Francisco loses its density (of tech headquarters), there is a chance for London to be the global leader,” Brent Hoberman, the tech entrepreneur behind lastminute.com, said.