In early August 2020, Instagram (a Facebook business) introduced Reels to compete with TikTok. After some criticism, we see that Instagram is revamping Reels. This certainly represents opportunistic timing on the part of Instagram, given TikTok’s U.S. government scrutiny.
Earlier this year, we asked whether TikTok would continue its rapid rise. At that time, we considered the long-term marketing prospects of TikTok, not trade issues: “There are mixed forecasts for TikTok. Will it keep growing in the future? Or will it prove more of a flash in the pan as teenagers and young adults move to other platforms? To gain insights on this, we turn to an eMarketer podcast and projections. First, the podcast. Then, the chart.”
Will This Work? Instagram Is Revamping Reels
Introduction of Reels
To offer a better video experience for users, Instagram launched Reels. As reported on August 5, 2020 by Julia Alexander for the Verge:
ith TikTok’s future uncertain, Instagram hopes to lure some creators away with the rollout of a direct competitor, Reels, launching in more than 50 countries today, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia, on both iOS and Android. Similar to TikTok, Reels lets people create short-form videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app. It’s the newest opportunity for Instagram to bring in users, increase the amount of time people spend in the app every day, and establish itself as a video entertainment platform.
Reels allows people to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, as well as an array of filters and effects, over the top of them. For creators looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram redid its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through — similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.” Both private and public options are available. If you want, having a public profile will allow your Reels to be widely discovered. For people who want to share with friends, Reels created under private accounts will only post to a person’s Feed and Stories. The feature lives entirely inside of Instagram; it’s not a new app.”
To read more by Alexander, click the image
So, what happened with the original Reels? Instagram’s approach seemed solid. But, there was one big problem. According to Garett Sloane, reporting for Advertising Age:
Reels can now last up to 30 seconds. Also, Instagram upgraded the editing functions that make it easier to create the videos. Video editing is a core component for keeping creators satisfied. TikTok video creators are limited to 15 seconds, but can string together videos that last up to a minute.
Click the image to read more by Sloane.