Instagram launched Reels in Brazil on 12 November 2019. After 7 months of testing, they then expanded it to France and Germany. The TikTok-like tool was launched in India on 06 July 2020. This was right after TikTok was banned in the said country. As of 05 August 2020, Reels was introduced to 50 countries. In response to several feedbacks about the usage of Reels, Instagram recently made some tweaks. It now upgrades Reel’s length and tools.
Reels users can now upload videos up to 30 seconds long. Since TikTok allows its users to record clips in a full minute, early Reels adopted clamors for longer video uploads. Instagram extends the video length on Reels up to 30 seconds to avoid users in repurposing their Tiktok’s 1-minute videos. Thus, users will surely be uploading original videos. Also, Reels now allow users to extend the clip timer until 10 seconds. They can trim and delete the clips for simpler editing. Reels also enables the new family pairing parental control like the TikTok’s duet feature. Such a tool disables direct messaging for users below 16 years old.
Instagram upgrades Reels’ length and tools as of 24 September 2020.
Implications for Marketers
As Instagram upgrades Reels’ length and tools, it just shows that the platform focuses on giving its users a better TikTok alternative. In India, Reels have replaced TikTok after the ban. It’s another option to consider in the U.S. as TikTok loses popularity. For marketers, this is an opportunity to create more engaging videos. Brands can inject fun to alter boring text content. And don’t underestimate the potential of Reels because you might be able to use it as an influencer platform. Many high-profile creators are now on Reels. Billy Porter, Doug the Pug, Eitan Bernath, and even Prince William and Kate now use Reels.