The ban on short video app TikTok in India is not good for its rivals because it sets a precedent that could be used against others, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said in an interview to ET. “Any boost or bump in engagement that we see by the weakening or banning of a competitor even in a market as important as India is outweighed by the risk that is created by the precedent setting,” Mosseri said.
“I think if more and more countries are interested in banning apps or threatening to ban apps as a point of leverage to try and force companies like ours to do whatever they like... Sometimes it's about censorship, sometimes it’s about data access — it creates a lot of risk,” he added. However, he noted that governments should have a role in regulating content on the platforms while rejecting the contention that the social media giant should be broken up because it was too powerful.
The Instagram boss also said that India has emerged as the company's key markets worldwide. "We have spent a lot more time trying to make sure our Android app is at parity with our iOS app. Obviously, Android is very prevalent in India. We have seen an amazing amount of energy and creativity from the Indian creator ecosystem," LiveMint quoted Mosseri as saying.
Mosseri's statements backing TikTok came only a few days after he said that the Chinese app was Instagram's most formidable rival ever. "They are very focused, they’re determined, they execute incredibly well. This is a company that cloned Musical.ly, grew so much that they actually could afford to buy the thing they cloned, and ... willed this short-form entertaining video content or format into existence, and they deserve a lot of credit for that,” Mosseri was quoted in media reports a few ago as he denied the notion that Facebook was stifling competition.
He rejected the call to break up Facebook and turn its WhatsApp and Instagram units into separate entities because they enjoy near monopoly power in certain parts of the world. “Instagram is what it is today because of Facebook in a lot of ways. It was a small app and today it’s a global platform and the vast majority of its history — more than eight of its 10 years — has been as a Facebook company,” he said. “We leverage the work that Facebook does on messaging, infrastructure, experiences, ads and business tools and most importantly safety.”