Facebook is launching Reels—a TikTok-esque function from Instagram—into the main app and platform, in another attempt to try and wean Tiktok users away from the competitor. Facebook Reels is already being tested by some users in the U.S., India, Mexico and Canada.
Reels will show up for some users in Facebook’s News Feed and within Groups—where people can “watch them together”. As part of this test, Instagram users will also be able to cross-post their Reels to Facebook.
According to Facebook, “nearly half of time” spent on the app is dedicated to watching videos, and Reels is growing “especially quickly”. The ability to post Reels on Facebook will also give users another platform to share their content, but do we really need another place to watch short-form videos?
Last year, Facebook introduced the TikTok copycat Reels to Instagram—and it has since became a place for users to watch TikTok videos, or Tiktok-ish content without needing to download a separate app. Reels users are also now able to record up to a 60 second Reel, doubling the time you were previously limited to.
Only time will tell if the introduction of Facebook Reels would have any staying power. Facebook had previously copied Snapchat’s Stories feature—which worked wonders on Instagram, but isn’t used that often on Facebook’s other platforms.
The Verge reports that Facebook will spend USD 1 billion (RM4.2 billion) on Facebook and Instagram creators through 2022. They will also “roll out additional bonus programs and seed funding” in the coming months particularly aimed at Facebook Reels.
TikTok might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But even if you aren’t on the app, the effect of it is so large that it has probably influenced the things you watch, the things you listen to, and even how the world works. You can watch my feature on it here.