Instagram Reels: the next big thing in social?

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There can be no denying that TikTok’s popularity has soared during the pandemic; with vast amounts of audiences downloading the video sharing app, and multiple generations engaging with video-based content, it has been a marketers dream. As well as this, Byte and Triller, video sharing apps that are similar to TikTok, have become increasingly popular, and this has ultimately pushed video content to the forefront of the social media space.

Coincidently, Instagram has now launched a TikTok-like short-form video service called Instagram Reels in both UK and US markets. It is not clear whether this launch is a direct result of TikTok’s sudden success, or whether Instagram and Facebook have been planning this for a while, however one thing's for sure - it is likely to be a huge hit with Instagram’s users.

Here, we take a look at what we can expect from Instagram Reels, and decipher how brands will be able to collaborate with creators to generate authentic, exciting content using Instagram’s new offering.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels allow users to create and post short, 15-second videos set to music or other audio. They can be posted on their feed, and Top Reels will be shared on the Explore page, using a similar algorithm that currently presents the most popular posts. As well as this, Featured Reels are Reels that will be highlighted within Reels; they will be selected for being entertaining, fun, creative and interesting.

The influencer world reacts to Influencer Reels launch

In November, Instagram Reels were tested against a Brazilian audience, and then trailed in European countries such as France and Germany. Now, as this new feature has launched in both the US and UK markets, we hear from Influencer’s CVO and co-founder, and popular content creator, Caspar Lee who was granted early access to experiment with Instagram’s latest offering.

“I am consistently looking for more ways to connect with my fans and find new ways to produce video-based content. I had an opportunity to check out Reels earlier this week and absolutely loved its features and ease of use. Based on how far Instagram stories and IGTV have both come since their launch, I’m confident that Reels will become really popular among the creator community.”

Will Instagram Reels change social media for brands?

With Instagram Reels, brands get the opportunity to work with Instagram creators to engage a new kind of audience - people who prefer content that is quick and easily digestible. As well as this, brands will be able to find new creative talent that might soon be popular on Instagram, because of the Reel content they create. There will also be an opportunity for brands to harness the creator connections that they already have and experiment with the kind of content that they create. This will allow brands to create innovative and engaging content in a new way.

What is most exciting about Instagram Reels is that there is no blueprint for creators or brands on how to navigate this new format. Therefore, brands can be some of the first creators on Instagram Reels in their own right, or partner up with creators to make their mark using Instagram’s new offering.

What is next for brands?

If Instagram Reels take off, will brands move their marketing spend and divert their attention to this new service entirely, or will they preserve their social presence on the established platforms of TikTok, Byte and Triller?

Whatever the result, make sure your brand is staying ahead of the curve and preparing a marketing strategy that is adaptable to the newest trends and consumer behaviours.

Head over to our website now, to get the latest insights and learn how we can help navigate you through your next influencer marketing campaign.

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