Instagram’s Increased Focus on Reels

Instagram has continued to find ways to reinvent itself in order to remain competitive amidst the emergence of new apps. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app,” instead choosing to focus on creators, shopping, messaging and video. That video in question is Reels

The app has had experience with a different iteration of Reels in the past and has seemingly worked to reinvent their version of video content creation since. So while uploading videos to Instagram isn’t a new concept, making it the app’s central focus is. But why is the photo-centric app focusing on video now?

What are Reels?

Before we talk about Instagram betting on Reels as the future of the app, what is it? Billed as a way to create video content for Instagram, Reels allows users to record and edit vertical videos with audio, effects and creative tools. Reels can be shared with followers on your Instagram feed, and with a public account, Reels can be found in the Explore tab. Originally, Reels were only 15-second long videos, but have since graduated to 90 seconds.

Before There Were Reels, There was IGTV

This isn’t the first time Instagram has dived into video content creation. In 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, a stand-alone app where users could upload long form videos. However, Instagram’s excitement for the separate app faded as they merged IGTV and videos shared on users’ respective Instagram feeds into Instagram Video, which can be found on users profiles in the video tab.

Why the Shift to Reels?

There are a number of reasons why Instagram has decided to focus on Reels. 

With Instagram’s decision to move away from being an app where friends can connect with one another through images to becoming a creator-based platform, pivoting to Reels makes sense. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg even referred to Reels as Instagram’s “fastest growing content format by far.” The platform has invested in Reels as a way to revitalize the app, grow with social media/app trends and to capitalize off of its current popularity.   

In addition to focusing on creators, Instagram’s motivation behind pushing Reels can also be linked to the increased popularity of TikTok, another short form video app for creators. Because Reels and TikTok are very similar in format, Instagram has experienced an influx of TikTok videos being reposted to Instagram as Reels.

In order to combat this, Instagram has plans to disincentivize this by burying reposted TikToks in the rankings while encouraging users to make original content for Reels. This is an important rule for users, both individuals and businesses, to know.

How to Use Reels For Your Business

For businesses, it is important to make sure that you are ahead of the curve when it comes to using social media for marketing purposes. Here are a few ways you can make the most of Reels:

  • No watermarked reposting: as previously mentioned, the most important rule is to never repost TikToks (or content from other apps) as a Reel.
  • Vertical content is key: remember that Reels are vertical videos, filming a Reel horizontally cuts off your video which can ruin the quality.
  • Have a beginning, middle and end: your content should be able to tell a complete story.
  • Share your Reel: after you’ve posted your Reel, make sure to share it in your stories to encourage more views as well as to your Facebook page.

If you are interested in learning more about Reels and how social media can help market your business, contact Blufish now!

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