Last week, Instagram dropped Reels, a new way to record 15-second clips set to music. If this sounds a bit familiar — you’re right. As the potential TikTok ban looms over the US, Instagram has released their Reels feature, which may just take the trending app’s place — or, at least, it’ll try.
Why is IG Getting in the Game?
According to recent data from Comscore, the percentage of US-based TikTok users aged 25-34 increased from 22.4% in January to 27.4% in April, while the 18-24 year-old bracket fell from 41.1% to 35.3%. It’s no surprise Instagram is making moves to replicate TikTok’s most popular features — especially in areas where TikTok hasn’t already amassed a strong foothold.
What Does Reels Have that TikTok Doesn’t?
If Reels does overtake TikTok, we suspect it will be due in part to the musical perks. Having established license agreements with a breadth of popular and up-and-coming music artists sets Instagram apart. On Reels, users can set their video to any of their favorite tunes. TikTok’s music catalogue doesn’t pack quite the same punch.
Reels offers a new way to build your community and grow your reach on Instagram. It’s a fun and engaging way to share viral (and creative!) snippets with your audience. If you’re already using Instagram for your business, it may be worth giving Instagram Reels a try. If TikTok’s rise to popularity taught us anything, it’s the value of getting in on the action early — being on the cutting edge of an up-and-coming trend.
How Should I Use Reels as a Brand?
Reels are designed to be fast and fun: They’re packed full of special effects. In true Instagram fashion, they’re user-friendly, too. Reels makes creating captivating and authentic content seriously easy.
This offers a great opportunity for businesses to show a more human, less picture-perfect side, which is great for building genuine relationships and strengthening community. Remember — fostering a strong community builds brand loyalty. Reels gives brands and businesses a new way to drive awareness and sales from the Instagram platform.
Many influencers and brands are already using Reels to promote products — and this is just the beginning. Similar to TikTok, it’s likely brands will jump on the opportunity to partner with influencers to create promotional Instagram Reels.
As snappy videos continue to take over social feeds (or make up entire social feeds, as in Google’s new Shoploop app), so will influencer strategy. If you’re not working with influencers yet, this is the time to start considering how it could fit into your larger strategy. As Reels pertains to your brand account — remember that authenticity leads to connection, which is a key driver of brand loyalty.