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Read our latest blog from Lucy on the digital team at Mostly Media about the launch of Reels by Instagram…

Instagram is the second-biggest social media platform, following closely behind its parent-company Facebook.  Instagram has approximately 1 billion active monthly users, 63% of which use the platform daily.  Users can connect with one another, share photos and videos and is a go-to for many advertisers.

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram’s developers have trialed and tested a range of new features in an aim to improve both user experience and advertising functionality.  To give an example, Instagram launched Instagram Shoppable Posts in 2018.  These posts allow businesses to tag and price their products.  When clicked, these posts direct the user to a pop-up window of the website and product.  By doing so, this feature allows users to shop for products without leaving the app, an important tool for e-commerce brands.

Instagram launched Reels back in November 2019.  Currently only available in Brazil, Reels allows users to create short (up to 15-second) music clips, which they can edit, rewind, fast-forward, remix and eventually share with other users.  Reels is Instagram’s attempt to fight back against the likes of TikTok, Dubsmash, Byte and Triller.

You can find a demo of Instagram’s Reels here: https://youtu.be/UH7WG7rcsko

Launching Reels initially in Brazil is a clever choice from developers.  Brazil has a huge Instagram population which is paired with the deep love of music culture and a rise in the creative community!  As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says “We’re trying to see if we can get it to work in countries where TikTok is not already big” – a strategy which has worked previously.

Reels is expected to launch in North America in early 2020 and eventually Worldwide in the next few years.

We have seen a huge rise in short, immediate content, due to the emergence of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.  This new type of entertainment is changing the social media landscape, creating a storm amongst millennials and Gen Z’s.  A great example of this content is Stories.  Over 500 million users share and consume content every day on Instagram.  Statistics show that 1 in 4 users look for products and brands across Stories.  So, it’s no surprise that 41% of marketers use this feature to advertise and it has seen massive success in the last few years.

As Reels is integrated into Instagram’s Stories, advertisers are likely to have the opportunity to advertise within this feature.  With a combination of both short-lived content and a remix, music video feature, it is likely to receive increased interest from users and brands alike.

Reels is set to be a fun and quirky addition to Instagram’s Stories, in an ever-changing social media environment.

Although Reels might not be a game-changer in terms of advertising, it provides a new method of interacting with your customers.  If you are targeting millennials and Gen Z’s, Reels should be considered in your marketing strategy.

If you would like to have a chat about all things digital advertising, please give us a call on 01225 302270.

Lucy Stone, Media Planner/Buyer