What Happened When Instagram’s CEO Encountered Katy Perry About Hiding Like Counts
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri tells Laurie Segall the story of what happened when he was approached by Katy Perry about Instagram hiding like counts on the platform.
That’s my job now…to think you’re gonna get yelled at by a chandelier, but be praised by a burger.
Laurie Segall: What’s the craziest experience you’ve had as the Instagram CEO?
Adam Mosseri: Ooh, interesting. I don’t know. I still feel like I have to remind myself that it’s my job because …you get sucked into it. You’re focused on the day to day. You’re like, how am I gonna get what, done what I need to get done today when we’re gonna have this
Laurie Segall: Yeah, but I bet you still have crazy experiences.
Adam Mosseri: Oh, crazy experiences? Uh, okay.
Laurie Segall: Like I’m sure people say weird things to you. I’m sure celebrities approach you.
Adam Mosseri: Yes….so we want a weird one. Okay, we’ll do Met Gala. So the Met is – for those of you who don’t know – sort of like the Super Bowl of fashion. And I went last year… and it was a very interesting experience for a lot of reasons. …So most public figures and celebrities, they are used to traveling around with a lot of support, with a sort of entourage of sorts. And you can’t do that at the Met. … It’s just you. And so you see people stripped of their support structures, of the people that they believe in and that they,you know, lean on.
Laurie Segall: Like all these celebrities who have like people around at all times.
Adam Mosseri: Yeah. And so then you have none. And so some are totally fine, you know, super confident…you’ve got cameras on both sides, so it’s supposedly…the most intimidating red carpet in the world. But others become very frightened, and they become very human all of a sudden, because you see them in this moment of vulnerability. And usually you see them on the big screen, or they’re on TV, or whatever it is, and all of a sudden they’re like stripped of their support network, and their people. And there are …a thousand photographers screaming at them. And for me, no one gives a shit what I’m wearing, so it’s fine. I can just walk up the stairs, and people are like, “Sir, excuse me. Excuse me, sir, can you move out of the way? Can you move out of the way?”
Laurie Segall: Like Mariah Carey’s behind you..
Adam Mosseri: Yeah. Well it was Katy Perry…who was a chandelier in front of me.
Laurie Segall: Oh, because this was “Camp?” What was the theme?
Adam Mosseri: Camp…so she was a chandelier, so that actually relates to the story. So…someone told me Katy, as in Katy Perry, wants to talk to you about making like counts private. And I was like, “Oh god.” Because, at that point, I was very aware that a bunch of creators were gonna be really angry about this. They matter a lot to us. They really are what makes Instagram special in so many ways. And so like, okay, I’m gonna go and I’m gonna get yelled at by a chandelier…Because she was dressed as a chandelier. And so I walk over there, and she’s not a chandelier. She’s a burger.
Laurie Segall: (Laughs) … What?
Adam Mosseri: She’s literally a burger. She’s in a giant hamburger costume. It’s about three and a half feet in diameter, and she’s got lettuce and it’s flapping everywhere. It’s like a whole thing. And so I’m like, “Okay, now I’m gonna get yelled at by a burger.” So I’m like, “Stay on your game. Don’t smile (laughs)…This is your job. This is your job now.”
Laurie Segall: This is now your job.
Adam Mosseri: You’re the head of Instagram.
Laurie Segall: Hiding likes, it comes with a price. You could be yelled at by Katy Perry.
Adam Mosseri: She didn’t yell. She was super supportive. She said, “How can I help?” …So I was thrown off my game three ways. …And then I went home many hours later and I was like, “That’s my job now…to think you’re gonna get yelled at by a chandelier, but be praised by a burger.”