I mean, it was probably to be expected.
Just days after TikTok announced it had reached a billion active users, Facebook today launched Reels on Facebook for all users in the U.S., bringing its short video competitor to even more people.
Honestly, Facebook looks more excited about the plugin than anyone else.
The social network has been testing Reels in its main app since March, starting in India, where TikTok is banned, giving Facebook more opportunities to take advantage of the format’s popularity.
And now this option brings 250 million + to the American public.
As Facebook explained:
“Roles on Facebook can consist of music, sound, effects and more. You can find them in News or Groups, and while watching the reel on Facebook, you can easily follow the creator directly from the video, like and comment on it, or share it with friends.”
Adding groups is the most interesting element – as you can see in the video above, along with the capacity to share your reels with your news feed, you will also be able to post your reels directly to Facebook member groups, while Facebook is also launching a new “Unique” group setting. theme “” which makes it easier for members to share their roles “.
As you can see in this example, through thematic reels you could ask group members to, say, post videos of them blowing their dogs ’ears to see their reaction, which could spur a new trend of engagement in your group, and ask for more interaction within the community.
That’s a good angle for Facebook, especially considering that Facebook groups are used by more than 1.8 billion people every month. Much like when it comes to audio social networking, which is also streamed through groups, Facebook seeks to take advantage of hosting these dedicated communities to increase the use of Reels and make it a bigger trend through more focused engagement.
However, Facebook also knows that part of TikTok’s lure is the reach and potential for internet fame, and is eager to point out that Reels on Facebook can provide that.
“Roles can reach everyone, not just your existing followers, allowing the most creative, funniest and most inspiring people to come out. People can discover roles based on their interests and what is popular both at the top of the News Feed next to Stories and Rooms and in a new, dedicated News Feed section.”
Facebook is also expanding its Instagram Reels recommendation test on Facebook, providing more Reels content to attract more people to the option, and giving Instagram creators greater exposure potential through reach among apps.
The extended reach of both apps is one area where Facebook has an advantage over TikTok, and it also has a much more robust monetization system and much greater resources to encourage the creation of Reels.
What Facebook wants to do through the new bonus program:
“As part of our commitment to invest more than a billion dollars in creators by 2022, we also offer a new bonus program that helps creators make money when people look at their roles. The ‘Reels Play’ bonus is paid to eligible creators based on the performance of their reels, and will be available on both Facebook and Instagram. After seeing the creators accept the Instagram Reels summer bonus, we hope this new bonus will allow more creators to make money from their content. ”
There are some challenges with incentive-based programs like this, as Snapchat revealed with its funds to create the creators of Spotlight, which gradually caused more unrest among his creative community as those payments dried up.
As a concept, it makes perfect sense — effectively monetizing short-form content is difficult because you can’t insert ads in the middle of an ad or preview a 15-30-second clip. This forces each app to think more creatively and seek partnerships with content brands and dedicated incentive programs, which can obviously act as a powerful lure (Snapchat’s Spotlight has grown rapidly on 125 million users,, encouraged by its payment system). But negative effects can occur if that same revenue leads to reliance, and the app is unable to replace that revenue with more sustainable cash flow.
Still, Facebook will hopefully attract more creators, with an even bigger lure to reach Facebook audiences.
“The ‘Reels Play’ program will pay a bonus to Facebook creators who meet the conditions whose Reels have at least 1000 views in a period of 30 days on Facebook. The Reels Play bonus program on Facebook is currently only available by invitation. Invited creators will be notified in the Facebook app and in the Creator Studio and can sign up to find out more here.”
Will expanding Reels on Facebook make it a more appealing, enticing option and prevent more people from spending their time on TikTok?
It seems unlikely. As you can see from this chart, TikTok’s growth rate is unprecedented, and its magnetism has only been amplified by global blockades as a result of the pandemic.
The appeal of TikTok among younger audiences is particularly impressive, and it’s that specific element that scared Facebook, and the spirit of MySpace that still calls from the distant past, warning of potential obsolescence by failing to garner the voice of youth.
Facebook initially hoped to strengthen TikTok with better monetization tools, stealing top creators. But as TikTok has also developed new business options, aligned with its creation tools, that approach has become less effective over time, and given that Facebook is also constantly in the news for the wrong reasons, TikTok seems to have managed to survive through major storm and will now be able to better establish itself as a key challenger in space.
That doesn’t mean Facebook has gone via MySpace – it still has 2.9 billion active users and is expanding into new markets every day. But Facebook is no longer a cool kid on the block – it’s a utility, a service that obviously has its place, but can lose momentum over time as younger users instead continue to spend more time in other, more attractive places.
This is, of course, the reason why Facebook continues to fight and fight to keep users ’attention where possible. But, as has been the case for several years now, Facebook is simply no longer an innovator, no longer at the forefront, leaving the door open for new, fresh competitors.
Facebook, however, is now concentrating on the next phase, with the goal of becoming a Metaverse company in the future. Maybe here Facebook can take the lead again and gain a new advantage over the opposition — or maybe, Facebook simply needs to change its focus and upgrade its useful tools as a means of consolidating its place.
It’s hard to see TikTok ever fulfilling that same need, in many ways – but again, as it continues to grow, it may become an even bigger thorn in Facebook’s side in the years to come.
Anyway, you can now watch Reels on Facebook as well, bringing the older audience into the short video trend. As a result, expect some discipline.
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