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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSTAGRAM’S REELS, THE RIVAL OF TIKTOK

1 October 2020
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSTAGRAM’S REELS, THE RIVAL OF TIKTOK

Have you heard about TikTok at all two or three years ago? It was a new platform hardly gaining popularity. 

TikTok achieved such success thanks to its democratic algorithms that allowed absolutely any user to get into trends and collect more than a million views. Part of the Instagram and Snapchat audience moved to TikTok because of this. As more and more people joined, the competition on the new platform grew. 

If only we knew that TikTok will boom and start competing with older famous platforms like Instagram! Fortunately or not, Instagram has a response to that.

REELS

For some time now, Instagram has been testing a new service that should pull part of the TikTok audience back to Instagram. It's called Reels. The low popularity and awareness at the start are due to the fact that at the time of launch Reels was available in Brazil and was originally planned as a continuation of Instagram Stories. 

During the testing it became clear that people do not need another Stories. Users wanted something more, something similar to TikTok in functionality and spirit.

After initial launches and tests in India, Brazil, France and Germany, Instagram has set its sights on expanding geography and is now planning to launch Reels in the US.

Facebook representatives also announced the possibility of launching  Reels in another 50 countries, including the United States in August 2020. However, the list of other countries and the exact launch date weren't revealed.

HOW REELS WORKS

Reels is built right into Instagram's functionality, similar to Stories and IGTV, so you don't need additional apps like Direct and Threads. The content for Reels will be based on short music videos that can be liked, commented on and shared with friends.

Reels will be accompanied by small movie clapper icons at the bottom allowing you to quickly distinguish them from Stories. The videos themselves will be short, under 15 seconds, which is even shorter than on TikTok.

However, this is even better in practice since people only need 3-5 seconds to evaluate the content. Once they do, they already decide whether to continue watching or scroll through.

One of the main features of TikTok is its built-in video editor and Reels is planning to implement that as well. So far we know that a basic video editor will be available. The editor will have basic functions like countdown timer and tools to adjust the video speed.

To access Reels, people just need to go to their profile and swipe left to the desired section. Reels will be located between classic posts and videos from IGTV.

HOW REELS DIFFERS FROM INSTAGRAM STORIES

According to developers of the service, the main difference is that Reels aims at publishing already edited and planned videos. People can continue editing in the built-in editor and add music. 

The service will also provide additional tips on content editing to help you increase the popularity of the video and attract new audiences. Moreover, you can choose any content topic. The most important thing is that the videos are bright, engaging and fun.

It's hard to say yet if Instagram's new service will boom. Until now, TikTok generously offers more reach to its users and helps them gain popularity on the platform. On the contrary, Instagram is an already well-established platform and its algorithms are designed for you to invest your money and time into promoting content. 

Anyways, it's worth trying the new product and assessing from your own experience whether you want connecting it to your SMM strategy.

POTENTIAL TIKTOK BAN IN THE US

Instagram's new Reels is being rolled out when the control over TikTok is increasing. The US authorities are afraid of a possible connection between the service and the Chinese authorities. They incite negotiations  to block TikTok in the US market following the example of India which just banned TikTok.

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