What is Reels?
Why is Reels pushed forward by the Instagram algorithm
Will Reels be the new Game changer?
Users might argue that Reels isn't much different than TikTok. This striking similarity reminds us of the emerging, trendy video-sharing App being joined by thousands of new users everyday.
Did Instagram feel all it’s previously owned power and influence in marketing and entertainment slipping through it’s fingers with the boom of Gen Z dominated Tiktok?
Did Instagram executives approve of Reels solely to counter TikTok’s popularity?
Or did they genuinely feel the need to introduce a new and improved feature to their list of content placements?
Here are a few facts about Instagram Reels, and whether or if not Marketers need to start talking about this feature more for their benefit.
What is Reels?
Not as alien as one might think for a new feature to be, Instagram Reels enables a user to make and edit on spot 15 second long videos using the Instagram App.
It is an addition to Instagram’s four other content placements, namely Stories, IGTV, Posts and Live. The characteristics that set it apart from these four age-old features are minute, but play out very different in terms of effectiveness.
However the question of “Is it worth investing valuable time and money into” still remains.
Just because most Instagram users throughout most countries have access to reels doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a must-indulge trend to plan for, execute schema and create content content for.
Reels clearly would be a breakthrough tool to utilise when targeting an audience that is likely to know about it and is likely to use it.
That would increase chances of the likelihood of them viewing content within Reels itself.
Aside that, marketers aiming for a different demographic might want to steer clear of the new and adamant complexity, focusing on what they can already do well and appeal to their audience at the same time.
Creating content catering to a whole new category of patterned limitations, challenges and features will definitely increase a producer’s time, expenses and resource utilisation. It is a job requiring significant commitment.
Commitment not everyone can give just right away as this feature continues to develop and mature.
The existing four content placement categories makes it hard enough for marketers, businesses and influencers to keep up with on an average, so let’s take a deeper look into who Reels is best for anyway.
Why is Reels pushed forward by the Instagram algorithm
Instagram Algorithms are designed to push forward their newer features that are in rapid development, so as to have as many content creators take advantage of the feature as possible.
The lack of algorithm-based restrictions for the time being within Reels comes as a huge incentive.
Generally content creators are encouraged to hop onto these newer features first that will undeniably be favored and promoted excessively to a wider audience while the feature is still relatively new.
Here’s one reason why marketers and content creators with the time and resources should definitely focus on this feature for a bit, as it provides them with more of an efficient output than the older features.
Reels posted by public accounts will be pushed to the top of the explore page by the algorithm, promoting Instagram users to not only view and share this content, but also get on the new-feature-adoption train themselves.
Easy to Create and consume
Not being much different than the layout of Instagram stories, Reels can be created with the same “swipe screen and press record” feature that makes Instagram almost as convenient for recording clips, videos and pictures as Snapchat.
Not only is the editing bar the same and even more convenient as the age old feature, but Reels allows you to utilise your favourite filters, AI features, Presets along with many more that you are likely to love!
Despite the fact that Reels is very effortless and easy to use, most savvy content creators, marketers and their teams are likely to plan and organise beforehand for creating new content, even for Reels.
However, the resource and time investment ratio would generally be quite less as compared to Posts, Live, IGTV and stories, in addition to Tiktoks and written content.
Hence putting out a message through a short video to present to the world would be relatively offhand but still on-point.
What additionally makes it so revolutionary is that the viewer can consume mass content when spending their time exploring Reels alone as compared to when they view other forms of content.
The video length, not only being short and less overwhelming is also basically fit for the current generation attention span.
While many viewers may or may not stick to watch posted content till the very end of IGTV’s, Main feed videos and Live sessions, and while they most definitely skip over big chunks of written text in captions that often delivers the message of posts, they can conveniently an effortlessly indulge in viewing and engaging through Reels.
With the former form of engagement, chances of the audience missing out on the message and branding are higher. However with Reels, the message is quick and straightforward, a very statement method of marketing.
Perhaps one of the more efficient methods of marketing.
Will Reels be the new Gamechanger?
However, even while keeping Tiktok’s already-established success and popularity, and so-called monopoly in short videos at a side, there are still certain downsides to this feature that may stop marketers and content creators from actively indulging in it just yet.
Starting off with what experts may have to say on the subject of competitor imitation:
" Instagram's short-form video feature, Reels, launched Wednesday. Instagram is swooping in at a vulnerable time for its largest competitor, TikTok. Reels allows users to create 15-second clips, like TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends within the Instagram app," - Jessica Bursztynsky
Not everyone is currently using Reels. Even though Instagram claims to have made Reels available in 50 more countries in addition to the United States, users in several countries included in this list are complaining about not having received this Instagram update.
Reels is not even available yet in some other countries which still yet make up a fair percentage of the Instagram user mass.
So yes, the content for Reels being pushed and advertised to a maximum is definitely still a strong factor, but the fact that a considerable proportion of one’s target audience currently being located in most countries around the world, excluding the US may definitely be a disadvantage for the Content Creator and Marketer.
Separate Explore Page?
Reels, while it's still in its initial phases of development, is currently only discoverable on the Explore Page, and not on one’s main feed.
This may be a downside if one’s demographic audience, which may rank in the older age-groups, do not visit or view the explore page often.
Many Instagram users seldom visit the explore page even if they tend to open the app several times a day. This may cause content to be lost and not reach the audience at all, depending on the type of audience one may have, rendering this feature almost useless to some Social Media Marketers and Content Creators.
To counter this Instagram might even develop a separate explore page, solely for Reels.
In a gist, It is for each separate business, brand and Social Media Marketing Expert to figure out if Reels is for them. While it is definitely a feature that may out-do all previous features Instagram held for these marketing and advertising purposes, or it may be the most useless feature of them all.
In the time being, The Instagram developer team continues to finesse this new potent internet rocking feature that may someday prove to be helpful and efficient for everyone.