Instagram Reels is the latest video feature released by Instagram. By now you've probably heard of Tik Tok, the giant social media application that's taking over the world with videos under a minute long. 'Reels' is Instagram's attempt to copy the success of Tik Tok and overtake its popularity. The format of the two platforms is almost identical - with the same 'scrolling' through short videos, making them easy to rewatch or skip over.
Image taken from Instagram's website announcement of the new video format.
'Reels' is not the first time Facebook has blatantly copied a successful social media platform. Take for example its 'Stories' feature, which is a copy of Snapchat, that eventually took over as the most popular way to share 24 hour long content. The list goes on, including Craigslist in America being replaced by Facebook Marketplace, and job searching websites being replaced with Facebook Jobs.
So, how can 'Reels' be used by small businesses? And why should you jump on the bandwagon and make some 'Reels' content?
When coming out with a new 'copycat' feature, Facebook pushes it really hard and rewards creators on the platform who use it first. This support from Instagram results in viral content, from even the smallest of creators.
There are even trending audios to prove this success! Some 'Reels' trends I've spotted include voiceovers of creators saying 'I heard that my small business can go viral from 'Reels' so let's give it a go.' Users are reporting higher levels of reach and engagement with 'Reels' than their other forms of content - including their normal posts and IGTV.
Not to mention 'Reels' are super easy to make. You don't have to be a tech wizard, nor a social media influencer to make a decent video and go viral. All of the editing can be done within Instagram itself - including filters, captions, and sounds.
So, with the ease of creating content that has a higher chance of going viral, why wouldn't you give it a go? Just remember your audience - if they aren't likely to use Instagram, you might want to sit this one out.
Davis, Laura. 2020. "Is Instagram Reels Worth Pursuing? Pros and Cons for Marketers". Social Media Examiner. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/is-instagram-reels-worth-pursuing-pros-and-cons-for-marketers/
Instagram. 2020. "Introducing Instagram Reels". Facebook.