Monday 17th of August 2020

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It’s official, Instagram has officially rolled out the Instagram Reels update! As the video format keeps gaining in popularity, social media platforms strive to update and adapt to the fickle consumers that we are. We know it can be a nightmare to try and adapt your marketing strategy every time a new social media update is rolled out. That’s why the Finesse Digital team decided to investigate and test the newly launched feature to give you a quick heads up on what to expect, what to do with it, and how to benefit from it.

What is Instagram Reels?

This is a new feature on the Instagram app, which allows you to create 15 seconds videos, using either your camera to record, or using previously recorded videos from your camera roll. You can crop your video, speed it up, slow it down, save your draft, add audio, GIFs, text, filters and more. The only limit is your imagination... or your battery life should we say! But why would this new feature be valuable for brands and businesses? This is where the trick lies. If you have a private account, your Reels will be shared to your followers only and will display in their Feed. However, if you have a public account, you will also be able to share your Reels in Explore - under the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of your screen - which according to the social giant “showcases the best of trending culture on Instagram”.

 

Is Instagram Reels like Tik Tok?

For those who don’t use Tik Tok, this is a relatively new social media platform where people can create and share short videos, add filters, sound tracks.. Sounds similar? Even Tik Tok themselves reacted on Twitter when Instagram launched Reels. Many already accuse Instagram of copying the popular Tik Tok app like it did for Snapchat. The Wall Street Journal announces “Facebook Inc.’s hottest property has cloned numerous features from trendy, fast-growing social-media apps”, the online magazine Engaget states “Facebook finally released its latest attempt at a TikTok rival”. 

Unlike the teen-centered app Tik Tok, Instagram Reels appeals to a larger audience. It seems like Instagram is targeting brands, creators, influencers, and other people who are actively looking to gain in popularity on the platform. Indeed, the social giant claims that Reels “can help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage”. What’s more, Instagram’s VP of Product Vishal Shah adds that “Reels is a way for [new creators] to get discovered”, and the recipe seems to work, but who for?

Is it worth using Instagram Reels for my business?

Although this is too early to give a definitive answer, we can already tell you that, used properly, this new functionality has the potential to help you grow your business online, gain awareness and surely thrive on Instagram. Say you own a DIY business, you could use Reels to showcase your products with short snippets, create time-lapse videos in two clicks, capture your tools in a slow-motion video, add captions and more. The social media management platform Later has already got the proof that Instagram Reels can boost your brand visibility and sometimes even make it go viral

On top of this, you may have noticed it already, Instagram has also recently added a new smart feature aimed at reducing misinformation and bullying on the platform. The new functionality called pinned comments is part of a series of updates in an effort to tackle cyberbullying. The concept is simple, if you shared something on Instagram and received many comments, you can pin up to three comments to the top of the comments. This feature gives more control to users over their audience and the messages they receive from others and allows them to choose what comments others will see first.

Going back to Instagram Reels, it seems that the new functionality has been widely approved, with already a number of celebrities and brands onboard, the short video format is a definite winner. With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram has all the assets to help you grow online. If you need assistance with social media marketing and content creation, get in touch.

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