Reels are live on Facebook!
Why did Facebook decide to launch Reels?
For the past few years, the Meta group, with its flagship social networks Facebook and Instagram, has been losing ground to new platforms like TikTok, which sees its popularity ratings explode on a daily basis. In other words, the Chinese social network is experiencing such a level of growth that its number of users doubled between 2019 and 2021. They then exceeded the 750 million monthly user mark in 2022.
The dazzling success of TikTok can partly be explained by the format and type of content the platform offers. The social network favors short, funny and original videos in a vertical format (9:16) that resonate with its users. To counter this phenomenon and attract more users, some platforms have decided to integrate a format similar to the now famous TikToks. Thus, in 2020, YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, and Instagram created Reels. These are two features that have paid off, since they remain one of the most promoted formats on each of the respective platforms.
At the same time, the social network Facebook is still losing momentum. So much so that in the last quarter of 2021, the American giant recorded a record loss of over 500,000 users per day. So, in order to relaunch its flagship network, Meta has introduced a new feature: Facebook Reels. Initially only tested in a handful of countries, this form of media enjoyed an instant success that made it the fastest growing platform of the group, overtaking Facebook and Instagram.
With such a successful test phase, on February 22, 2022 Facebook launched its new media in more than 150 countries simultaneously. And to ensure that the Reels are able to compete with TikTok videos and YouTube Shorts, Meta decided to inject a $1 billion contribution over the year 2022 to attract creators from other platforms to join the group’s latest project. This was a similar tactic that streaming platforms Mixer and Facebook Live used to take market shares from Twitch. Meta is promising lucrative contracts (up to $35,000 a month) to established creators who decide to join Facebook Reels.
Where do Reels appear on Facebook?
In order to showcase its new media, Facebook has pushed Reels onto different places on the platform. They are now visible:
- In Stories: creators of Reels have the option to share them with their friends in their Stories to increase the visibility and reach of their videos. It is also possible to create Reels from existing Stories.
- At the top of the News Feed: On Android and iOS, a section for discovering new Reels is now available just below your friends’ Stories.
- In the Facebook Watch tab: for lack of their own dedicated tab, Reels are visible in Facebook Watch. Facebook is currently developing tools to create Reels directly from the Watch tab.
- In various places on the News Feed: in the same way as on Instagram, banners with suggested Reels are scattered throughout the News Feed. So, users are encouraged to discover Reels made by people they do not know that have been deemed relevant by the algorithm.
In addition to its new placements, Facebook offers exclusive features to the creators of Reels to incentivize them:
- Video editing software: In the coming months, Meta plans to offer a video editing tool integrated into the application which will make it easier to create Reels.
- Remix feature: Similar to TikTok’s Duo and Collage features, Facebook is introducing the Remix feature, which allows users to create their own Reels from an existing Reel, and tag the author of the original video.
- 60-second Reels: Reels on Facebook can be up to one minute long and can contain multiple pieces of music and existing Reels.
- Draft function: Soon, it will be possible to save your Reels as drafts in order to publish them later.
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How to use Reels to gain visibility and generate money on Facebook
Along with the launch of Reels, Facebook has expanded its monetization system to encourage creators to focus their efforts on the platform. From now on, it is possible for creators, agencies, media and content producers to get paid depending on the size of their audience and number of views. So, Facebook has now made it possible to monetize a whole host of videos:
- Lives: just like on YouTube or Twitch, creators are offered the choice to include advertising series at the beginning, middle and end of the stream.
- Stories: In the coming weeks, creators will be able to include banner ads in the form of stickers to monetize their Facebook Stories.
- Reels and short videos: Since the arrival of Reels, creators can monetize videos of one minute or more by broadcasting short video ads at the 30-second mark. Previously, only videos lasting 3 minutes or more could benefit from monetization.
In addition to these measures, Facebook has decided to expand access to monetization. In an effort to help creators, the eligibility criteria have been relaxed. To join Facebook’s ad partner program, one must now simply:
- Have 600,000 total minutes of views in the last 60 days (all content types combined)
- Have at least 5 videos published that comply with Facebook’s monetization terms
Considering how recently Facebook Reels were launched, we don’t have enough data to share tips about how to optimize this feature. However, it is likely that Facebook Reels share many similarities with Instagram Reels. We can therefore assume that the platform will strongly promote this feature in the coming months.
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