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Instagram Launches New Reels Updates, Including Longer Clips and Improved Trimming

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It’s only been out for a short while, but Instagram is already making tweaks to the design of its TikTok-cloning ‘Reels’ feature as it looks to maximize the appeal of the short-form video option.

And while we don’t have any data on Reels usage as yet (though Instagram has said that Reels is taking off in India), the changes have been made in response to initial user feedback, and look to move Reels even more in-line with TikTok’s process.

First off, Instagram will now allow users to create Reels of up to 30 seconds.

Instagram Reels

Reels have thus far been restricted to 15-seconds, in line with TikTok’s main focus, but TikTok clips can actually be up to a minute in length, giving users more room to flesh out their creations. Instagram isn’t giving Reels users the full minute (though you can, of course, post longer videos to the main Instagram feed), but the expansion to 30 seconds will provide more leeway.

And as noted by TechCrunch, the middle ground option could provide a way to TikTok users to re-purpose their longer TikTok clips to Reels, while still requiring them to re-edit in many cases, thereby making unique Reels content.

In addition to this, Reels creators will now also be able to extend the timer by 10 seconds as they record their clips.

Instagram Reels

While it’s also looking to improve on its native editing tools, with improved trimming and deletion options.

Instagram Reels

In some ways, it feels like a bad sign that Instagram is already making changes to the Reels design so close to the initial launch, but it’s also good that Instagram is trying to learn quickly and align with user behaviors in the app. 

Whether Reels can become a bigger thing is hard to say. Initially, Instagram has been pushing Reels as an alternative to TikTok in both India (where TikTok is banned) and the US (where TikTok could be banned), but with negotiations increasingly looking more like TikTok will remain in America, that could see Reels lose any momentum it had gained due to uncertainty over TikTok’s future.

Most of the feedback seems to be that Reels is TikTok, but not as good. That could be good enough in India, but if TikTok remains unchanged, it likely won’t be enough anywhere else.

But then again, with reports that TikTok’s personalization algorithms won’t be included in the Oracle/Walmart deal, TikTok could still lose its way, and if it does, having Reels as a pretty close alternative will remain a consideration for many. 

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As such, Reels could still become a bigger consideration over time, even if TikTok is allowed to remain in the US.   

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Publishes New Report on the Increasing Consumer Reliance on Business Messaging

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Meta Publishes New Report on the Increasing Consumer Reliance on Business Messaging

Messaging has become an increasingly important connective tool for many businesses and consumers, with more than 20 billion messages now sent between people and brands on Messenger alone every month. It’s convenient, generally sees quick response, and is available within the apps that people are already comfortable with for their direct interactions. In fact, 64% of people now say they would prefer to message rather than call a business.

With this in mind, Meta recently partnered with the Boston Consulting Group on a survey of more than 6,500 respondents across the APAC region, in order to glean more insight into how APAC users are looking to use messaging for brand queries, and how businesses can better align with these shifts.

The 29-page report, which you can download here, includes a range of valuable insights into the importance, and value, of messaging interactions. Here’s a look at some of the key notes:

First off, the report looks at the growing adoption of business messaging, and how that’s changed throughout the pandemic.

The global lockdowns led to a significant boost in eCommerce activity, and as such, it’s little surprise to see the reliance on business messaging rise in recent years. But that’s also a key trend of note for brands – as more consumers conduct more of their interactions via messaging, and other online means, that, in turn, increases their expectation of the same options from other businesses.

The report also provides a somewhat surprising look at how often people are messaging with brands:

Meta messaging report

That’s a lot of activity, which seems more impactful than the raw numbers, in terms of messaging volume. A lot of consumers are interacting with brands every other day, so it’s not just that they’re using this as a supplementary connection channel, it’s fast becoming an essential connector for businesses.

The report also looks at the different ways in which brands can use messaging within their process:

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Meta messaging report
Meta messaging report

As well as the key pain points for consumers when messaging with brands:

Meta messaging report

There are some interesting insights here, worth factoring into your planning. Really, if you’re not offering direct messaging as a connective option, or optimizing for it, you’re likely missing out. And while this data is APAC specific, most of these trends would likely hold in other regions as well, which could give you some food for thought for your planning, particularly as we head into the holiday sales push.

You can download Meta’s full ‘Business Messaging: The Quiet Channel Revolution across Tech’ report here.

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