Last week, Instagram announced Instagram Reels: a way for users to create short 15-second clips to share on their personal feed and to the Instagram Explore page.
This new capability has strong similarities to TikTok, which creates looped videos up to 60 seconds long. TikTok has 500+ million monthly active users, but the app has received significant attention for cybersecurity concerns. As a result, Instagram Reels is in a position to take potential market share. However, Reels is already encountering its share of problems, just within a week of release.
Despite these initial issues, Instagram Reels poses a huge opportunity for businesses, given the audience size of Instagram alone. Instagram itself has revolutionized advertising on social media, allowing brands to target specific audiences with sponsored in-feed posts, explore page posts and stories. The function is in early stages and Instagram Reels will likely offer the ability to promote sponsored content. The natural progression we’ve seen with paid advertising on social media leads us to believe Instagram Reels will follow in the steps of TikTok for Business, where brands have started advertising on TikTok.
A Familiar Path
When looking at the potential of Reels, you only need to review Instagram’s success with Stories. In 2016, Instagram released its Stories feature, where users can post temporary images and videos to share with friends, similar to Snapchat. However, Instagram Stories became twice as popular over Snapchat, with 400 million active users each day compared to the 191 million on Snapchat. This use case proves the potential growth Instagram could see with their adoption of short clips through its new Reels feature.
What to Watch For
In the coming months, businesses should expect to see the integration of a variety of advertising-driven capabilities that will allow organizations to take advantage of targeted marketing, with customizable functionality and metrics. The early adopters of these tools will have a leg up in reaching new audiences. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the evolution of Reels and will provide updates as we learn more.
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