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Will access to Reels on Facebook globally help Meta bring back youngsters?

The app is also introducing more creative tools and new ways for creators to make money from their Reels through advertising

Mathures Paul | Published 28.02.22, 03:43 AM

You just can’t escape Reels. The short video feature has been launched on Facebook — owned by Meta Platforms — globally in a move to expand the fast growing content format. The news comes weeks after reports that overall user numbers are down on Facebook.

The feature allows creators to share short-form video content on Facebook or cross-post Reels from Instagram, which should help reach a broader audience. The app is also introducing more creative tools and new ways for creators to make money from their Reels through advertising, and soon, Stars (a virtual tipping mechanism).

Reels was started to directly take on TikTok with a feature inside the Instagram app. The company during its Q4 2021 earnings call said that Reels has become Meta’s fastest-growing content format by far. It means that as more users spend time on Reels, they will spend less time on Meta’s Feed and Stories formats, which are big ad revenue generators.

“We want Facebook Reels to be the best place for creators to connect with their community and make a living, so we’re launching new monetisation tools too. To give creators more visibility and reach, they can share their Instagram Reels as recommended content on Facebook. We’re also rolling out Reels in Facebook Watch and letting people share public reels to stories,” Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Facebook Reels users will be able to “remix” others’ videos (duet them) and upload clips up to 60 seconds in length, just as with Instagram Reels. They’ll also be able to save drafts, and Meta, in the coming months, is “planning to roll out video clipping tools that will make it easier for creators who publish live or long-form, recorded videos to test different formats”.

It will be a very interesting year for Facebook. It was a period when the empire may slowly start eroding or completely reinvent itself to become even more popular.

Reels is an important part of attracting young people, many of whom are using Facebook just to check upcoming birthdays. The party has moved to TikTok, even though India is not getting a piece of the action. The situation has become even more difficult ever since Apple introduced a privacy feature last year that disrupted the platform’s digital-advertising business. According to The Wall Street Journal, Since Meta’s February 2 earnings report, the company’s market value has fallen by more than $300 billion.

Before the company’s recent announcement, Facebook Reels had already been made available in Canada, Mexico and India, while Instagram Reels is already available throughout most countries. The company said video now accounts for more than half the time users spend on Facebook and Instagram.

What we are not sure of is whether people would like watching Reels over a long time. On Instagram, it’s strategically placed on the search page, so that one may get tempted to click on it. What is turning out to be a big success that we need to talk about is YouTube Shorts, which are viewed 15 billion times each day.

Last updated on 28.02.22, 03:43 AM
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