Instagram Reels: Why Instagram has launched Reels?

Growth Academy Aug 10, 2020

Facebook's attempt to compete with TikTok – Reels, a new short video format on Instagram.

If you’re thinking most of the features sound very familiar, that’s no coincidence.

Reels could be considered a direct response to the growing popularity of TikTok — which has surged in popularity over the last 12 months. TikTok has many winnings on its name. TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020, according to Adweek.

The debut of Instagram's Reels in the US — and in India in early July – Comes as concerns over TikTok's livelihood in both countries has created an opening in sort form video-sharing. The Indian Government recently banned TikTok, and in US- the Trump administration is weighing a country wide ban on TikTok due to its ties to China. Where Apps paret company ByteDance is based.

ThiTok has more than 2 billion global downloads, and an estimated US userbase at as high as 80 million.

And TikTok’s core demographic is rapidly changing. While once dominated by Gen-Z users, Millennials now make up a greater share of TikTok’s user base than ever before — making the platform a much more attractive proposition for advertisers.

According to recent data from Comscore, the percentage of US-based TikTok users aged between 25-34 increased from 22.4% in January to 27.4% in April, while the 18-24 year-old bracket fell from 41.1% to 35.3%.

Instagram Data

Source: Adweek

So it’s no surprise that Instagram is making moves to replicate TikTok’s most popular features — especially in areas where TikTok hasn’t already amassed a strong foothold, like Brazil and in the countires where TikTok is banned or about to be banned.

In fact, this isn’t the first time that Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has attempted to launch a TikTok alternative.

Facebook previously launched a short-form standalone app Lasso, but it has failed to take off as yet.

Reels, however, could have a much higher chance of success thanks to its prime positioning in the Instagram app — and all of the exposure and familiarity that comes with it.

IGTV has found its positioning as series-based content, where audiences can tune in to each episode with their favorite brands. But, with Reels, it’s filling the gap of high-quality content that’s still informal, but has longer shelf life than 24 hours.

It’s a more dynamic and creative opportunity to showcase more of your personality and brand.

There are over 1 billion active users already on Instagram — and if we’ve learned anything from the introduction of Instagram Stories, it’s that Instagram knows how to replicate a tried-and-tested format with success.



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