05 Aug 2020

Instagram’s TikTok Competitor Reels Made Its Debut Today

We knew Instagram would be releasing Reels in the US in early August, but most people didn’t know the exact date as with every Instagram feature. As I woke up this morning and watched reel after reel being done by celebrities and influencers, I wondered when it would make its way to my app! The wait was unnerving, but eventually, we got there. As someone who has spent the last few months on TikTok, I was eager to see how Reels would match up. I know that I have not been the only one obsessed with this new app, recently a friend of mine even asked me if I would happen to know what the best site to buy TikTok likes might be. Undoubtedly this new form of social media has got everyone hooked and wondering how they can improve their profile. This does not just apply to a certain age demographic either, people of all age groups seem to love the format of the platform. Around lunchtime, I tested it myself. Within 30 minutes, I was able to [learn and record] a dance routine to Calvin Harris, Migos, and Frank Ocean’s “Slide.”

Here are some of the things I observed:

  • There were significantly more Reels within feed than normal, but you also had your fair share of regular Instagram videos. The content switching between both and photos were tough to get used to. It’s almost like content overload.
  • It took me several minutes to find my drafts folder.
  • It’s great that the music library within Instagram is something you’re familiar with if you already use it for your stories, but there’s no way to save sound clips (or I haven’t found it yet) This feature is important on TikTok because sometimes I want to save a clip and record the video later. Instead, on Reels, it beckons you to record that video in the moment with that audio.
  • Are the effects that you can use within Instagram just filters? Am I missing it?
  • You can share your Reel to feed, stories, or the dedicated Reels part of your Instagram. At first, it wasn’t clear to me that you didn’t have to share it to feed automatically.
  • Posting to feed and reels is decent quality. If you post to stories, the quality is bad.
  • Videos can’t surpass 15 seconds unlike TikTok.

Overall, I found the process a bit clunky, but I’m willing to give this a little bit more time. For the time being, I plan on recording videos to both TikTok and Reels to become familiar with it, but I don’t find this to be intuitive. If you think about it, Instagram now houses feed, stories, reels, and IGTV. That’s quite a lot going on! Instead, it might be better to invest your time on TikTok, especially if you’re looking to rise as an influencer. Along with your time, you can invest some money as well, if you’re willing to buy real TikTok followers, which might give a boost to your social media presence and perhaps attract a larger audience as well. If you need help with engagement strategy, social media growth services might be the answer. These services can give a headstart on TikTok management, which primarily focuses on organic growth. TokUpgrade, for instance, is largely used by many TikTok business accounts (see TokUpgrade reviews for more details).

The reason I’m probably so interested in TikTok is that maybe I’m hoping to become famous one day, and it could become an additional source of income for me. This is because, once famous, most influencers tend to collaborate with companies through a tiktok influencer marketing agency, which in turn helps the companies market their products and brand through them (influencers). Businesses hire marketing firms to connect them with the most appropriate influencers who can create trendy, entertaining, and viral videos to raise awareness about their products or services, and who knows, maybe, one day, I’ll become one of the most influential video creators?

Coming back to Instagram, one thing that I considered is how Instagram is generally perceived. Instagram has a reputation for being perfect. Users share content that is aesthetically pleasing and create a well-crafted feed. Is there any question that Reels won’t fall into that same pattern? Users that may not be comfortable with video will have a tougher time getting their foot in the door. That pressure of continuing to keep something looking perfect will create some tension. And it’s apparent that Reels is on another level than the quick snapshot of Stories.

In some ways, this couldn’t have come at a better time. With TikTok being on the verge of being banned by President Trump, this is a prime time for Instagram and Triller to move in. The question is, are Instagram users willing to adopt it?

Posted on August 5, in Design

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