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Facebook Tests New Reels and Rooms UI, Integrated Into the Facebook Stories Panel

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Facebook may be close to giving Instagram Reels exposure a significant boost, by integrating a new Reels clips display directly into the Facebook app, as it seeks to combat the continuing rise of TikTok. 

Facebook Reels display

As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Facebook is currently testing a new display option for the top of feed Stories panel, which would give users the option to see an alternative feed display of either Stories, Instagram Reels clips, or in-progress video and audio rooms.

That could help boost discovery of Facebook’s new audio rooms, which are now in live testing with selected creators and groups, but it would most significantly increase exposure for Instagram Reels, with Reels content highlighted right at the top of the Facebook app, which is used by 2.85b people per month.

Instagram, of course, has a billion active users of its own, but many Facebook users are not users of Instagram, or TikTok. That could make this a great option for Facebook to boost interest in Reels, by exposing a range of new audiences to the option, which could subsequently increase engagement, and interest in Reels overall.

Facebook has been trying everything it can to make Reels a bigger element in the app, in an effort to stop users from migrating across to TikTok instead. It’s still working on improving the Reels algorithm to maximize engagement and usage, while it’s also developing a new payment program for top Reels creators, which looks similar to Snapchat’s Spotlight payment offering for top clips.

But the real ace up Facebook’s sleeve here is exposure potential, and ultimately, monetization opportunities. Instagram itself is still bigger than TikTok in terms of users (though that may not be the case for too long), and if it can also expand Reels exposure to Facebook users as well, that could be an unmatchable, and highly attractive audience for those looking to build a following for their content.

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Facebook’s been testing Reels recommendations in Facebook Watch and user feeds since late last year, but this experiment, which is currently not in live testing as yet, would be the biggest step that it’s taken on this front to date.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also developing a new option to create Reels in Facebook.

Facebook Reels creation

Again, both of these options are in the early experimental phase, and it may well end up that neither gets released.

But it is interesting to see how Facebook’s working to build Reels, as it continues to map out ways to fend off competition from TikTok.

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TikTok Launches New ‘Branded Mission’ Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

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TikTok Launches New 'Branded Mission' Creator Monetization and UGC Promotion Process

TikTok’s looking to make it easier for creators to make money from their clips via a new program that it’s calling ‘Branded Mission’, which will enable creators to take part in what’s essentially branded content challenges, with the brand then able to select from the submitted clips for their promotional campaigns.

As explained by TikTok:

“To make it easier for brands to tap into the creative power of TikTok communities and co-create authentic branded content that resonates with users, we’re launching Branded Mission. Branded Mission is an industry-first ad solution that enables advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions.”

As outlined in the above video, the process will enable brands to post challenges, which creators with over 1k followers will then be able to participate in.

“TikTok creators can decide what Branded Missions they’re inspired by and choose to participate in the Mission. Brands will select their favorite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic.”

The chosen creators then get a cash payment, though the payment amounts, at least at this stage, won’t vary based on individual video performance.

Instead, each Mission will list earnings potential, based on how much the brand is willing to pay.

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Allocate more cash and you’ll pique the interest of more users, expanding the potential of tapping into a viral hit.

The option will broaden the creative options for brands, and with organic-styled content performing best on the platform, it could open up major new possibilities for marketers looking for ways to tap into the app.

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It’ll also provide TikTok with another critical revenue-share element. Clearly the app of the moment, if TikTok wants to maximize its opportunities, it needs to ensure that its top creators get paid – because with more lucrative monetization offers available on other platforms, it logically makes sense that big-name stars will follow the cash, and focus on those platforms instead.

But monetizing short-form video is harder than longer content, which is why TikTok is also rolling out 10-minute clips, and emphasizing live-streaming, as a means to drive more money-making opportunities.

Branded Mission is another step in this direction, which will ideally provide a more direct link between creating content in your own style and making money, without having to incorporate merchandise sales or arrange your own affiliate deals.

Interestingly, Meta is trying out similar on Instagram, where product tags were recently expanded to all users.

Instagram product tags

Creators don’t get paid for adding these tags, not yet at least, but you can see how Meta could eventually take a similar approach to provide creators with more revenue opportunities.

For TikTok, the process could make it much easier to bring in cash for your uploads, expanding well beyond the Creator Fund, which top creators have already been highly critical of.

You will, of course, need to create specific, themed videos, as opposed to YouTube, where you upload what you like and switch on ads. But it’s a fairly distanced relationship from the sponsor brands, which reduces management workload, while also providing new content prompts.

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It’s a good idea, and as more and more brands look to tap into the app – especially as it surges towards 1.5 billion users – you can bet that it’ll be a popular option for a range of ad partners.

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TikTok says that Branded Mission is now in beta testing, and is available to brands in more than a dozen markets. The option will be made available in more regions throughout the year.

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