Instagram Reels, total failure against rival TikTok

The conclusion would be given by an analysis commissioned by Meta’s own owner, the report “leaked” outside the company showing that Instagram stars who invest their own time and resources in making and distributing videos on Instagram Reels don’t get anywhere near the level of views they would enjoy, for example, if they distributed their content directly on TikTok.

Despite investing considerable funds in the development and promotion of the Instagram Reels platform, Meta is not seeing the results it had hoped for, with the TikTok alternative based on the distribution of short videos largely ignored by users who are either not interested in the videos, the vast majority of which are already on TikTok, or view them in passing, without leaving comments or appreciation for the authors.

According to the document called “Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022”, of the 11 million creators who distribute content on Instagram Reels, the majority receive no response whatsoever to the content distributed, with the clips left with minimal views and almost zero fan feedback. In other words, Instagram users are more interested in the photos and content distributed on the main platform, with Meta’s attempts to force adoption of Reels meeting with near-total indifference from the target audience. Attempts to turn the content upload menu into a competent video editor, from which authors could apply various effects and process prepared content without the need for external tools, have not yielded the desired results either, as they use the Reels editor to prepare their videos, which they then download to publish also on TikTok.

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While TikTok users cumulatively spend 197.8 million hours watching videos on the platform each day, Instagram users spend less than a tenth of that – 17.6 million hours a day – watching Reels, according to the report.

Confronted with the report that has emerged in the public space, Meta spokesperson Devi Narasimhan says the entire “story uses outdated and, in some cases, incorrect data to create a false picture of progress with the Reels platform.” “We still have work to do, but creators and companies are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than expected as more people are watching, creating and connecting through Reels than ever before.”

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Part of the problem, according to the report, is that Reels struggles to deliver original content; nearly a third of all videos are created elsewhere, then uploaded to Instagram. Recycled clips (which can often be identified by watermarks) have become so numerous that the company said it will hide them when they appear in users’ feeds.

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