I know the logic behind this and understand why Meta would do this. But there’s a whiff of desperation here, of trying to hold on to the TikTok horse as it flees, taking all of Instagram’s popularity with it.
Today Meta announced that virtually all video downloads will now become Reels whether you like it or not, while it also added a range of new creative tools for Reels as it doubles and triples the short video format.
The main change is to integrate all video clips into the Reels stream.
As Meta explains:
“Since Reels provide a more immersive and entertaining way to watch and create videos on Instagram, we also bring the full-screen experience to your video posts. In the coming weeks, new video posts under 15 minutes will be shared as reels. Videos posted before this change will remain as videos and will not become reels. »
Yes, 15 minutes. It’s not exactly a short form, which means that almost all videos uploaded in the app will now be fed into the Reels feed.
In some ways, that makes sense. Reels is the fastest growing content format in the app, and the greater popularity of TikTok has led to habitual shifts in consumption behavior, meaning users are now instinctively more aligned with the format. .
In that sense, Instagram should feed it where it can – but still…
The larger concept would be that as more people watch Reels, more content can only be good for engagement, while it should also mean more views on your clips because they will appear in that flow.
But it could also make Instagram less differentiated, less unique — and again, that sounds a little desperate from Zuck and Co.
Either way, it’s a new dawn for Instagram content, and it’ll be worth monitoring your stats and thinking about how best to lean into the latest trending Reels to maximize engagement.
On top of that, Instagram is also adding a range of new creative tools for Reels clips.
First, Instagram is adding new Remix options, to provide more ways to collaborate in Reels clips:
- Remix for photos: Photos are at the heart of the Instagram experience. In the coming weeks, you will be able to remix public photos. It gives you unlimited inspiration to create your own unique reel.
- Extended remix layouts: Choose between green screen, horizontal or vertical split screen, or picture-in-picture reaction view to add your own video commentary to existing reels.
- Add your clip: Got a hot plug? Rather than having your remix appear at the same time as the original reel, you can now add your clip after the original so that it plays sequentially.
Instagram is also expanding access to its The Reels Templates option, which lets you use existing and popular Reels formats as templates for your own clips, while also adding a new dual camera mode, so you can capture content and your reaction at the same time, using the front and back of your phone. rear cameras simultaneously.
These additions also align with already established TikTok trends – so pretty much if you’re used to TikTok, you’ll already be ready for these new creative options and tools.
Which is kind of the goal, but also kind of a concern. If Instagram remains focused on TikTok, then there’s no real originality to the app, much less a unique value proposition.
Where is the leadership that Meta once held as the primary platform in the social media space?
It used to be that Facebook and Instagram were the apps that broke new trends, introduced new tools, but since the introduction of Stories, it’s all about replicating and defending your turf as best you can with scams and copy features.
Meta, in general, is more focused on the next stage, in the metaverse, and maybe then, it just needs to transition its core apps until it can transition users into its next big phase, where he will take the reins of leadership once again.
But I’m not sure Instagram users really want it, or that it will help Meta maintain its long-term leadership.
Either way, the statistics will tell the story. You or I may not like these replication features, but if people use them and IG engagement increases, Meta will have the final say.
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