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Who is Adam Mosseri & How Did This Facebook Exec Become the Head of Instagram?

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

The head of Instagram on Wednesday met with deep skepticism on Capitol Hill over new measures the social media platform is adopting to protect young users, according to an AP report.

Adam Mosseri appeared before a Senate panel and faced off with lawmakers angry over revelations of how the photo-sharing platform can harm some young users. Senators are also demanding the company commit to making changes and increase its transparency.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who heads the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, dismissed as “a public relations tactic” some safety measures announced by the popular photo-sharing platform.

“I believe that the time for self-policing and self-regulation is over,” Blumenthal said. “Self-policing depends on trust. Trust is over.”

AP reported that under sharp questioning by senators of both parties, Mosseri defended the company’s conduct and the efficacy of its new safety measures. He challenged the assertion that Instagram has been shown by research to be addictive for young people. Instagram, which along with Facebook is part of Meta Platforms Inc., has an estimated 1 billion users of all ages.

On Tuesday, Instagram introduced a previously announced feature that urges teenagers to take breaks from the platform. AP reported that the company also announced other tools, including parental controls due to come out early next year, that it says are aimed at protecting young users from harmful content.

According to a report on Slate.com, the hearing had “Mosseri battling with senators about the studies’ statistics and, tellingly, about potential reforms to the way Instagram operates. Indeed, a number of lawmakers pressured him to commit to various proposed fixes, which he largely dodged unless they were part of initiatives that Instagram already had in the works.”

Who is Adam Mosseri and how did he become the CEO of Instagram? Having had dual Israeli-US citizenship, as his father is Israeli,  Mosseri was born in New York City in 1983 and was raised in Chappaqua, New York.

His younger brother is Emile Mosseri, is an American composer, pianist, singer and producer based in Los Angeles. He has scored films including The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019), Minari (2020), and Kajillionaire (2020), and composed for TV shows like HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and Season 2 of Amazon’s Homecoming.  He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for his work in Minari. Emile Mosseri is a member of the indie-rock band The Dig, as well as a recording artist and touring musician. He studied film scoring at Berklee College of Music.

Adam Mosseri attended New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study to study media and information design. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information design in 2005, according to a report on Wikipedia.

In 2003, while studying at NYU, Mosseri started his own design consultancy called Blank Mosseri, which focused on graphic, interaction, and exhibition design. His company had offices in New York and San Francisco. In 2007, he joined TokBox as the company’s first designer.

Mosseri joined Facebook as a product designer in 2008. In 2009, Mosseri became a product design manager, and in 2012 became the design director for the company’s mobile apps. From 2012 to 2016, Mosseri oversaw Facebook’s News Feed section, and from 2016 to May 2018 served as vice president of product for Facebook. During his tenure at Facebook, he additionally oversaw Facebook Home, the company’s unsuccessful attempt at bringing a mobile homescreen to Android devices.

After the 2016 presidential election, Mosseri took it upon himself to become the spokesperson for Facebook’s stance on “fake news.” During the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mosseri was one of the few Facebook executives who was vocal about Facebook’s role in providing security and trustworthy news.

In May 2018, Mosseri was named Instagram’s vice president of product. On October 1, 2018, Facebook announced that Mosseri would assume the role as the new head of Instagram, following the resignation of the photo-sharing app’s founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in September 2018. Mosseri’s title as head of Instagram differs from the title of former leadership as CEO as Facebook reserves CEO titles for company founders. As company head, Mosseri is expected to hire a new executive team and oversee “all functions of the business”.

According to a 2018 report on Fortune.com, Mosseri filled a major hole left at Instagram after the sudden departure of the company’s co-founders.

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s former CEO, and Mike Krieger, its chief technology officer, said in 2018 that they were stepping down because they were reportedly upset over Facebook management increasingly steering Instagram’s strategy, as was reported by Fortune.com

“Since we announced our departure, many people have asked us what we hope for the future of Instagram,” Systrom and Krieger wrote in a joint statement. “To us, the most important thing is keeping our community – all of you — front and center in all that Instagram does. We believe that Adam will hold true to these values and that Instagram will continue to thrive.”

Wikipedia reported that in 2015, Business Insider recognized Mosseri as a Facebook “Power Player.” In 2017, Mosseri was a keynote speaker at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. In 2018, Mosseri spoke alongside Campbell Brown on behalf of Facebook’s news features at Recode’s Code Media conference. In 2020, he was listed in the Tech category of Fortune’s ’40 Under 40′ list. (Additional reporting by Fern Sidman)

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