Since the first week of August 2020, Instagram has launched the Reels feature in over 50 countries around the world, which intends to compete with TikTok on one of the strong points of the social network Chinese, the creation of light, short and effect-filled videos, with background audio of your choice in a public selection of hits successful.
Reels therefore tries to stimulate a competition with the Chinese platform to acquire part of those large masses of very young consumers who on TikTok have literally opened the creative front on short and disengaged videos, given the age of the first historical nucleus of subscribers to TikTok, with its undeniable advantages in terms of creativity of the edits and lightness of the contributions posted.
Among the features of Reels , not surprisingly, some of the fundamental characteristics of TikTok are in plain sight, such as the possibility of associating a music track of 15 to your video seconds by choosing it from a public library that collects excerpts of successful songs and motifs .
But obviously also on the edits and filters applicable to videos you can see the congruences with the Chinese social network , which of mass video editing – with colorful and totally adolescent effects, to say the least – has made one of his diamond points difficult to imitate.
On the other hand, Reels is spatially grafted onto a platform, Instagram, which already with the Stories had found new fluid of interest among users, who although more mature by birth than the TikTok audience they have not disdained the public visibility that the Stories have managed to obtain on the platform, starting from their following of followers.
Reels promises an additional space , probably awarded even among non-followers in the Explore section.
And on this too we wink at the For you of TikTok , the superselection that the Chinese social network proposes to its users on the basis of interests, popularity and reactions obtained from the various videos promoted daily in that enormous space of visibility, so multifaceted and hypersubjective, unequivocally coveted and very popular with most.
Of course, competition is the lifeblood of innovation, and as users we can therefore only welcome the new function with the kindness that distinguishes us.
But we can’t even keep quiet about our general opinions on the move proposed in the middle of summer by the Facebook photo platform, which by natural vocation is the only one that can somehow try to chase TikTok on the digital audience range – huge, absolutely futuristic – collected by the Chinese giant.
We obviously don’t want to be birds of ill omen, God forbid.
But the gap on TikTok seems really difficult to bridge, which of the exasperated editing of short videos (and light, colorful, musical, funny, seductive) has made a popular consumption that literally depopulated all over the world, among the very young of the great American metropolises as well as among their peers in Africa, Asia, Europe .
The power of the TikTok music archive , as well as the habit now instilled in large slices of young consumers, who are now consuming daily editing of their TikToks , they seem really hard to be affected by what the new Reels functionality will allow, which is aimed at least in part at a different audience.
Not to mention the fact that TikTok itself is certainly not left idle.
Today, the use of direct video enjoys great success, and the platform has very recently opened its user base to brands, which can now integrate with the native advertising of TikTok for Business .
Advertising, it must be said, which immediately attracted a large number of advertisers, who certainly are not lacking.
It will therefore be hard for Reels, that is for Instagram, to catch up on TikTok for the consumption of short and instant videos (that is spontaneous, but edited as much as I can).
Much more likely, the new feature will have a life of its own within the audience of users that the American social network already has, carving out spaces for visibility but without really affecting users’ video production.
Also because it is now precisely on TikTok that groups of users that are anything other than teen – or even decidedly childish, as in the origins – have landed.
From ages 8 to 70, the idea of opening a TikTok channel is now accessible to anyone.
In this sense, the haemorrhage of users towards the Chinese social network is probably greater than one imagines, and Reels constitutes only an attempt to block outgoing flows that certainly will not be stopped by an imitation of little thickness ( we will see how the music library, the filter collection, the technical stability of the streaming platform will be), but more likely they will follow the fashion of the moment ; whether we like it or not, as always.
Or Trump’s political moves, for that matter.