Facebook Reels have launched

October 1, 2021

Let’s face it. TikTok has thrown a proverbial spanner in the works. The social media marketing game will never be the same. Consider this – it took Instagram 10 years to reach a billion users. TikTok has reach that milestone in only 2! :exploding_head:

As a result, Instagram rapidly launched Reels, a very similar content format to TikTok.

Instagram saw TikTok rapid ascent as a competitive threat and wanted to do everything in its power to blunt it’s growth. So, they cranked up the reach to encourage the existing Instagram users to adopt it …

Next came YouTube with the launch of YouTube Shorts and US $100M worth of grants to ‘creators’ (i.e. influencers) to encourage more people to use Shorts and stop spending so much time mindlessly scrolling through TikTok. It’s YouTube’s way of standing atop a mountain shouting ‘come back, we miss you!’

Now comes news that Facebook will be launching Reels, too. As of Wednesday, users in the US will have access to Reels on the platform for both iOS and Android phones. And of course, Facebook has indicated that they’ll be releasing a new, full screen, immersive ad formats.

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This is great news for brands playing the organic game, because unlike Instagram, trending Reels on Facebook will appear in the newsfeed and groups (as opposed to the Explore page on Insta). Plus, you’ll be able to share your Insta Reels over to Facebook just like you can with your regular feed post, Stories and IGTV videos.

It’s not out in Australia yet and there’s no indication as to when it will, but we anticipate it will only be weeks, not months.

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As a marketer, you should always jump on any new feature. Why? Because the platforms give extra reach in the early days to encourage faster take up of the feature, but then gradually turn it back down to normal levels once there’s sufficient adoption.

You should also dive into any new ad formats. This is because engagement rates and conversion are usually higher as users see and experience the ad formats for the first time.

So … go forth and Facebook Reel!

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About the author 

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner is the Co-founder & CEO of Social Media College, Australia's leading educator and trainer for social media. He co-authored the Diploma of Social Media Marketing, the world's first and only Australian Government recognised course in social media marketing, delivered by 25 leading colleges and TAFEs across Australia, and articulating into several Bachelor programs at Australian Universities. His deep expertise in social media spans content marketing, social media strategy, 15 different social media networks, paid social advertising, personal branding, email marketing, and social media conversion. Jonathon has also co-founded several other businesses, as well as spending 12 years as a management consultant specialising in mergers & acquisitions for private equity firms, growth strategy, and operational improvement. Jonathon holds a combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.

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