Instagram boss says app will 'rethink what Instagram is' in 2022

In his video outlining Instagram's general goals for 2022, Adam Mosseri doesn't directly address the scandals that rocked Instagram this past year.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Instagram was hit by waves of criticism in 2021, including backlash to internal documents that showed the app is toxic for many teen girls' mental health. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri vowed Tuesday that the social app will "rethink what Instagram is" in 2022. In a video posted to Twitter, Mosseri said Instagram will focus on greater transparency in the New Year, among other goals. He didn't directly address any of the past year's scandals that rocked Instagram and parent company Meta (formerly known as Facebook). 

"We're thinking about who we are, what we value and what kind of change we want to affect in the world," Mosseri said. 

Instagram was lashed by intensifying scandals in 2021, including allegations it disregarded the scope of its toxicity for many teen users. In September, The Wall Street Journal -- citing Instagram's and Facebook's own internal research -- reported that Facebook was well aware of the harm Instagram was having on teenagers, especially on teen girls' mental health. That report, and a wave of others, sparked multiple congressional hearings targeting Instagram and other social apps, including a hearing at which Mosseri was called to testify. Instagram has said the Journal mischaracterized the purpose and findings of the research on teens, calling the assertion that Instagram is "toxic" inaccurate.

On Tuesday, Mosseri said goals for 2022 include consolidating all of Instagram's video-sharing efforts around Reels, its TikTok-rival product; further embracing private messaging; and improving ways for Instagram creators to earn a living on the app. 

Without directly addressing criticisms, he said Instagram would work on more personal controls and on widening transparency. "We think it's important that people understand how Instagram works, if they're going to shape it into what they want, or what's best for them," he said. 

Watch this: Instagram chief testifies to Congress, Apple to add service history to iPhones