As you can see here, much like TikTok ads, Reels ads appear between other Reels clips within your feed, and include a ‘Sponsored’ tag below the profile icon to denote that they’re part of a paid promotion.
The move is part of the continued push to create a more sustainable Reels eco-system, which will ensure that creators get paid for their Reels efforts, and provide more value for Instagram in supporting and developing the option.
Instagram hasn’t shared any official numbers on Reels usage, but Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has noted that the option is growing “both in terms of how much people are sharing and how much people are consuming”. Instagram has also said that Reels has seen specific usage momentum in India, where TikTok was banned last June (and Reels was launched just days later)
But it’s still a fair way behind TikTok, and with a recent report suggesting that users are now spending more time in TikTok than they are in either Facebook or Instagram, Facebook will no doubt remain focused on promoting Reels usage, as it looks to stop its users from migrating across, and getting sucked into the never-ending vortex of TikTok’s highly attuned video feed.
That could help Reels gain more momentum, and as it does, that will further incentivize more advertisers to also sign-up, and get their ads shown between Reels clips.
As such this new expansion makes sense, with Instagram essentially playing catch-up with TikTok and looking to make Reels a bigger consideration, in all respects.
Will that make it a relevant option for your brand? Until we have definitive usage stats, it’s hard to say, but with ad access expanding, you can likely expect Instagram to share some more insights on this front in the near future.
YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022
YouTube’s has published its listing of the top trending videos and creators of 2022, which provides an interesting overview of the year that was in online entertainment.
Starting with the most viewed clips, the top video was posted by gaming legend Technoblade, in which his father shares Technoblade’s farewell message that he composed before passing away due to cancer.
Technoblade’s final upload has been viewed over 87 million times, which is a testament to the influence the creator had within the broader gaming community.
The second most viewed clip was Will Smith’s infamous confrontation with Chris Rock at the Oscars, followed by another gaming streamer, Dream, and his face reveal clip.
The influence of gaming on online culture is once again on display in YouTube’s top performers, with several of the top channels and clips having links to gaming trends.
Prank videos are also prominent, which is a potentially more concerning trend, with some pushing the boundaries and leading to harm, while the Super Bowl halftime show also makes the top 10 list.
In terms of creators, it comes as little surprise to see MrBeast topping the list:
US Top Creators
- MrBeast (114M subs)
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Ryan Trahan (11.1M subs)
- Isaiah Photo (8M subs)
- Brent Rivera (22.3M subs)
- Dan Rhodes (18.8M subs)
- Luke Davidson (9.31M subs)
- CoryxKenshin (15M subs)
- Ian Boggs (8.07M subs)
Jimmy Donaldson has become YouTube’s biggest success story, overtaking PewDiePie to become the most subscribed creator, and parlaying his YouTube success into various other business streams, including BeastBurger restaurants, Feastables chocolate bars and more. Donaldson has even outlined his longer-term plan to run for President. Which is probably not a genuine target, but then again…
YouTube has also provided a listing of Breakout Creators for the year, which includes various Shorts-focused stars.
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Jooj Natu ENG (6.03M subs)
- Shangerdanger (4.03M subs)
- David The Baker (2.47M subs)
- Kat (5.2M subs)
- Dayta (4.39M subs)
- Devin Caherly Shorts (3.61M subs)
- MDMotivator (4.17M subs)
- Charles Brockman III (TheOnly CB3) (2.41M subs)
As noted, it’s an interesting overview of the year that was, though from a creative perspective, it’s hard to take many hints from what these top stars are doing and apply it to your own approach.
MrBeast generates most of his viral traction by undertaking ridiculously expensive stunts, while gaming creators are obviously gaming-focused, which is not overly helpful in determining the next big trends.
The majority of the top creators focus on big challenges, like surviving on 1c per day, or living in the Metaverse for 24 hours.
I guess, if you were looking to tap into such, that would be the key lesson, big-time challenges and grandiose projects that generate viral traction through people sharing the clips with their friends.
YouTube’s also shared the top-performing ads of the year:
Global Top Ads
- Amazon (US)
- Telecom Egypt (Egypt)
- Clash of Clans (US)
- Apple (US)
- Hyundai Worldwide (US)
- Imagine Your Korea (Korea)
- HBO Max (US)
- Netflix (US)
- Chevrolet Brasil (Brazil)
- Squarespace (US)
That provides some more specific perspective for marketers, with examples of how other brands are generating traction with their promotional clips – though most of them are celebrity-led, big-budget productions, so again, there’s not a heap for smaller creators to necessarily take from these trends.
I mean, two of the top ten ads feature K-pop megaband BTS, while others have stars like Scarlett Johannsson and Zendaya.
But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that creativity can’t win out.
This ad from Telecom Egypt, second on the above list, uses bright colors and music to sell the brand message.
And really, if you need creative inspiration, you can check out YouTube Shorts and TikTok to see the latest trends that top creators are leaning into with their video approach.
Overall, it’s an interesting perspective on the year, which may help to guide you towards the top stars in the app. But maybe not overly instructive for your own creative approach.
You can check out YouTube’s 2022 year in review here.