Since TikTok became one of the most popular social media platforms in existence virtually overnight, multiple social media platforms have released short-form video features that mimic the short-form video content that dominates TikTok. For example, Instagram unveiled their Reels feature–which allows users to record and edit video clips that are up to 60 seconds in length from their smartphone or other mobile device and post them for other Instagram users to view on their Feeds–in August of 2020. Meta–which is the parent company brand that now encompasses the platform that was formerly known as Facebook and was unveiled as the new name for this social media giant in October of 2021–introduced their own short-form video feature that is now known as Facebook Reels in early 2021. Facebook Reels allows Facebook users to share short videos of up to 60 seconds in length with their Facebook friends and wider audiences. At the time of its introduction, however, it was only available in select regions of the world. Keep reading to learn more about the expansion and effectiveness of Reels as a tool to keep Meta relevant in the ever-changing landscape of social media platforms.
Expansion of Facebook Reels
Reels was actually first launched in India in March of 2021–just about 6 months after Instagram revealed their new Instagram Reels feature. Facebook likely chose India as the first region in which to make their Reels available because TikTok is banned in India–which thereby increased interest within this country.
In September of 2021, Facebook launched Facebook Reels to the United States–making this short-form video content feature available to the more than 250 million Facebook users who reside in the U.S. Finally, after testing Reels in multiple regions around the world, Meta made Reels available to all Facebook users in 150 additional regions in late February of 2022.
Why Use Reels?
The expansion of Facebook Reels to an additional 150 regions around the world brings up the question of whether or not Facebook Reels is actually worth using. Why would social media users–especially those who are already invested in TikTok and other social media platforms that support short-form video content–want to spend their time watching and/or creating their own Reels on Facebook?
The reality is that Facebook still reigns in the world of social media platforms. Meta’s social media platforms have more than 3.6 billion combined users, and Facebook alone is home to almost 3 billion active monthly users–according to recent data from the fourth quarter of 2021. This base of users makes Facebook the most-used online social media platform worldwide–which means that Facebook’s short-form video content feature gives Facebook users a better chance of reaching a wider target audience with their video content.
Also, Reels is a very intuitive, engaging, and fun-to-use feature. When you create a Reel, you can make sure it reaches the audience you want it to reach by sharing it to your News Feed, to groups you are a part of, and even to your Facebook Stories. A multitude of creative tools such as text overlays, music and audio, and AR effects are all available through Facebook Reels, which make this feature more engaging to use as a creator and more engaging to watch as a viewer who sees a Reel on their News Feed.
It can also be monetized through the use of overlay ads that take the form of stickers or banners over the Reels you create and are very effective at reaching your target audience–which makes Reels especially appealing for Facebook users who want to monetize their social media accounts. Facebook’s new ‘Reels Play’ bonus feature even helps creators whose Reels perform well and reach a wide audience with significant engagement earn higher profits from the monetization of their Reels.
Whether you want to create Reels to be creative or have fun or you want to earn some profits from these short-form videos, this is a feature that is worth checking out–especially now that it is available for use by all Facebook users worldwide.