One day we’ll wake up and all of the social media platforms will look so much alike, that we’ll forget which one we’re using at any given time. I can barely keep up with this year’s updates and it seems Instagram is putting the most numbers on the board. Its Reels video tool, a very obvious response to the success of TikTok, appears to have picked up steam, and its Shopping features are also evolving to ensure the user’s purchases start and end within the app. Still, Instagram is testing Reels on Facebook, because why not? (In case you forgot, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp share the same owner, so this type of integration is to be expected.)
According to a screenshot recently shared on Twitter by Alessandro Paluzzi, the beta-test allows Reels to be recommended on Facebook news feeds and within Facebook Watch. This doesn’t impact a Reels’ ability to be recommended within Instagram—that opportunity remains. So if you’re a creator who has invested part of their marketing strategy into attention-grabbing video content, this update is a potentially easy way to widen your audience and up your social media stats.
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) December 11, 2020
There are billions of users between both Facebook and Instagram so the potential to build a wide-ranging and loyal community is huge. While we won’t know the outcome of this sharing option until testing is complete, it will be interesting to see how the evolution of these platforms is impacted by the landmark lawsuit recently filed against Facebook for what many claim are anti-competition and antitrust practices.
For example, Social Media Today recalls how Instagram launched Stories to compete with the growing popularity of Snapchat back in 2016. Though there isn’t definitive proof that this had an impact on Snapchat’s decline afterward, there is some correlation.
“Now Facebook appears to be following the same playbook with Reels, and by making them available on Facebook, as well as Instagram, that could introduce Reels to a much larger audience, with a view to quelling TikTok’s growth by stopping Facebook users from drifting. “Is this an example of anti-competitive behavior? Of Facebook looking to ‘crush a competitor through scale?”
Great question. I guess we’ll have to keep an eye out for the answer.
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