Video has become Meta‘s priority as it competes with Beijing-based ByteDance-owned TikTok. This focus has blinded them to ruining Instagram‘s interface with changes that included recommending posts and videos on people’s timelines from accounts they don’t follow.
Instagram launched Reels in early 2020 when TikTok was at its peak thanks to stay at home orders and people making short videos to entertain themselves and others.
Even after two years, Instagram Reels is still playing catchup and the numbers tell it all. 197.8 million hours are spent on TikTok daily by its users compared to 17.6 million hours spent each day on Reels.
2.3 million out of 11 million creators are posting Reels
There was a drop of 13.6% in terms of engagement on Reels. However, Meta is reporting that people spend a fifth of their time on Reels when they engage with them on Instagram and Facebook.
Another interesting piece of data is that Instagram users are sharing Reels more with their friends on private messages – it makes more than half of the content shared in DMs.
We’ve all known that videos posted on reels have been created elsewhere and posted there from platforms like TikTok. This type of reuploaded content accounts for more than a third of Reels content. This is where you’ll find videos that went viral on TikTok weeks ago trending on Reels for people who have refused to download TikTok.
Meta downranks these videos so that they don’t appear prominently on their algorithm and gives favour to original content but they still prosper.
Creators are also pointing out that it doesn’t make sense to make original videos for Reels when they go more viral on other platforms like TikTok compared to when they are posted on Reels.
The giant social network received a lot of backlash after rolling out Panavision where Instagram’s algorithm started showing posts and Reels from strangers. They walked back these changes by reducing the number of recommended posts and accounts on people’s feeds.
This was temporary as the company planned to improve its ranking and recommendations algorithms and Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO said that they’re going to double up recommended posts on Instagram and Facebook over the next year.