Meta rolls out new Reels features on Instagram and Facebook
Meta announced today that it's launching new Reels features for Instagram and Facebook. Most notably, the company is rolling out an “Add Yours” sticker for Reels on both social networks. The sticker allows users to respond to other users' Reels with their own following a prompt or a certain topic. For example, you can share a Reel with an Add Yours prompt that asks others to post videos of their pets.
Each time you share a new Add Yours prompt, Reels added by others will appear on a page dedicated to that prompt. At the top of the page, people will see who started the prompt in order to give credit to the originating creator. Although the feature is aimed at getting users to collaborate, it can also be seen as a way to discover more people to follow.
The feature was first introduced for Instagram Stories last fall. The company says the sticker is a popular Stories feature, so it makes sense for Meta to bring it Reels as well, especially given its plans to double down on the short-form video feature. Since the sticker encourages users to post their own Reels in response to an original one, Meta could see it as a way to increase the number of Reels on its platforms, while also getting users who may not have otherwise posted Reels to share one.
Meta also announced that it's opening up Stars, the virtual items that allow fans to express their support for their favorite creators, on Facebook Reels for all eligible creators. The company previously expanded Stars to Facebook Reels and is now rolling it out to all eligible creators. Meta also notes that it recently launched new mobile options for getting started with Stars and for tracking earnings.
In addition, Meta now allows all users crosspost Reels from Instagram to Facebook easily. The company says this will allow creators to build communities on both social networks and participate in monetization programs offered by both Facebook and Instagram.
Meta is also launching auto-created Facebook Reels, which are Reels compiled from your previously-shared Facebook Stories. The new feature is designed to make it easier to share your favorite memories as Reels. Given Meta's increased focus on Reels, it's no surprise that the company is looking to encourage users to turn their Stories into Reels.
Today's feature drop also includes the addition of new Facebook Reels insights in Creator Studio. Meta says the new insights will help creators identify which Facebook Reels are is doing well. For instance, creators will get access to new metrics, such as Reach, Minutes Viewed and Average Watch Time.
Lastly, Meta is launching new Reels Remix features for Facebook Reels, as you can now remix Facebook Reels sequentially. Along with the option to have your remix appear side-by-side at the same time as the original reel, the new option allows you to remix by showing your clip after the original reel.
Meta has been betting big on Reels, and even recently announced that new video posts that are shorter than 15 minutes will now be shared as Reels on Instagram. The change is likely to upset some users, as it may pose some challenges. For example, it could be difficult to post a horizontal video if it gets uploaded into a vertical Reels format. However, the move wasn't exactly unexpected, especially since Instagram has been hinting toward these plans for awhile. Last year, when Instagram head Adam Mosseri laid out Instagram's priorities for 2022, he said the company would double down on video and focus on Reels.
It's no surprise that Meta is doubling down on Reels, especially since Reels is a big potential moneymaker for the company in a time when its revenue is starting to decline. Zuckerberg recently noted that Meta has made more than a $1 billion annual run rate on Reels ads. He also shared that the amount of time users spent watching Reels has increased 30% since last quarter, but it's possible that the cause of that increase is that we're being served so many Reels by the algorithm.
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