Launched earlier this month (5th August 2020), Instagram Reels is Facebook’s response to the social media phenomenon that is TikTok. TikTok has thrived during the pandemic, with many turning to the platform to promote positive messages or fill the time they may normally have spent socialising, so now Facebook wants a piece of the action.
Although it remains unclear whether Reels has been launched as a direct result of TikTok’s success, or if Facebook has been planning it for a while. Coincidentally, at a time when President Trump is announcing intentions to ban the TikTok platform unless they find a US buyer, it seems like a very convenient time to launch. The ban threat came about after concerns from critics suggested that data collected from US consumers could end up in the hands of the Chinese Government. Reels allows users to share 15 seconds of short video content to a global audience (if your account is not private); this is the first time Instagram has enabled interaction with a global audience regardless of whether users are following them. If you’re interested in learning more about how to create your first Reel, Instagram has created this easy to follow guide.
Although the platform was launched less than two weeks ago, there has been a significant volume of user engagement and opinions on Reels. Unlike its competitor, users have to navigate through the app to watch, rather than having everything on one page – which feels like an afterthought from a usability perspective. Many avid TikToker’s are commenting on the feature as one of the worst they’ve used. No doubt though Facebook Reels will become a success due to the scale of potential reach.
For many brands already active on Instagram, it provides a means of targeting a wider audience, creating a new opportunity for companies to create innovative content – also putting them at the forefront of the latest social trend. If your social media strategy needs to be in line with the latest trends, Wish are here to help, get in touch.