Do you know why Reels is winning relevance on Instagram?
Two months after the global launch of Instagram Reels, we are seeing the results of how users are incorporating the new format into their Instagram consumption. Also, how is affecting the organic reach of the rest of publications and why Reels wins relevance on Instagram.
If you are an Instagram user you surely noticed that since mid-summer the app has a brand new feature. These new short-form videos no longer than 15 seconds, that gives you the option to record and edit several clips with audio, effects, and other creative tools. The main difference with its Chinese competitor, TikTok, is that it is a fully integrated format within Instagram. Consequently, Reels has not started from scratch, as it has over one billion users who have automatically been added the new functionality.
In SocialPubli we would like to tell you about the development of this incipient format of Reels. But, let’s start from the beginning: we’re going to present how Instagram has implemented all new formats along its history.
The prelude to an empire: The key to Stories’ success
One of the key reasons why Instagram Stories was more successful in its launch year (2016) than Snapchat in its entire run is the fact that Instagram was much more liberal in its distribution of the reach. Initially, Snapchat was very limited in its options for discovering users and their stories, you had to be already connected with them. Instagram is a platform that was designed to improve outreach from its inception. That’s why Instagram Stories was embraced with open arms by Influencers.
The advent of the long video format: IGTV
In June 2018 Instagram launched its most expected feature since the Stories: IGTV. With this new format, we re-conceived the concept of viewing videos on our phones. With a new integrated platform on Instagram, which showed longer videos, up to 1 hour in length, and facilitated their discovery by channels. With this appearance, Instagram reinforced content marketing and positioned itself as an alternative to YouTube.
Reels is winning relevance on Instagram
Throughout its 10 years of existence, we have seen how Instagram ends up achieving everything it sets out to do. Following the success of TikTok and its large increase in users during the months of quarantine, Instagram has jumped on the bandwagon with the integration of this new short video format into its own app.
Currently, Reels are embedded into Instagram in three different places. First, there is a tab dedicated to this format in each user’s profile (similar to IGTV), where the entire Reel collection is available. In addition, there is an option to publish a short version in an Instagram story or in the feed. Reels are also embedded at the top of the ‘explore’ page; here you can find Reels of users who are not among your followers and reach new accounts.
The possibility of multiplying the appearance of the same content in various sections maximizes the impact of Reels’ publications. It also makes clear the platform’s intentions to give more relevance to this new format.
In fact, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, we have learned that Instagram is going to change the appearance of its interface. This new look will make the Reels and the shopping section much more accessible, with a separate tab for each one.
With the introduction of Reels, in a rush to promote their features and try to make them a success, Instagram has already made changes to its algorithm and this is affecting the reach of the rest of the publications (Stories and feed posts). In this way, Instagram indirectly “rewards” users who create content on Reels with more organic reach.
Instagram has done a quick boost to the functionality of Reels because it has to compete with the large organic reach that TikTok offers. The ones who have noticed this change in Instagram are the micro-influencers who were already facing some difficulties to highlight their feed publications without the help of paid promotions before the arrival of Reels.
That explains why some Tiktokkers are still trying to turn their TikTok viewers into Instagram fans. They post videos that arouse viewers’ curiosity and then add a CTA in the caption like: “get the rest on my Instagram account”. Because if an influencer already has a good community created on Instagram, with Reels they can generate massive reach organically, which through feed publications is very difficult to achieve.
Many users are uncomfortable with the new Instagram interface and even looking for ways to turn off the display. However, wherever the most lucrative campaigns are, that’s where the top tier of long-term creators will be. Content creators must adapt to this new format if they want to establish themselves within Reels. If you want to know some tricks to successfully debut on Instagram Reels read our post.
Will Reels be the new place for creators? Will Instagram successfully integrate this new Reel format and combine it with other publications?