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Meta Launches Facebook Reels to All Users, Expanding its Short-Form Video Push

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Meta Launches Facebook Reels to All Users, Expanding its Short-Form Video Push


Meta’s taking its battle against TikTok to the next stage with the full launch of Reels on Facebook, using the platform’s massive scale to capitalize on the popularity of short-form video content.

Already available to some users, Meta is now making Facebook Reels available in 150 more regions, with a new Reels display at the top of user feeds.

That will get a lot more people watching a lot more clips via Meta’s TikTok clone functionality, while Facebook’s also adding new creative tools and features to further encourage take-up.

Facebook Reels will include remix functionality to encourage trend engagement, while creators will also be able to post Facebook Reels up to 60 seconds in length, in line with Instagram’s Reels extension launched last July. Users will also be able to share publicly posted Reels to their Stories, adding even more engagement potential.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also adding Reels drafts, and a new video clipping option “that will make it easier for creators who publish live or long-form, recorded videos to test different formats”.

That last one is important, because like YouTube, Facebook’s looking to use its short-form option as a complementary channel, while also giving creators the opportunity to build community, and maximize their monetization potential through longer content as well.

That could end up being a major problem for TikTok. As it stands, monetizing short-form content remains problematic, because you can’t attribute pre or mid-roll ads to specific clips, like you can with longer posts. That immediately limits your revenue potential, and while TikTok is looking to counter this with its Creator Fund and by facilitating brand partnerships, none of these options provide the same money-making possibilities as longer form uploads on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

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TikTok creators have already started calling out the platform over its flawed monetization tools, with revenue potential actually decreasing as the platform gains more users. At some stage, TikTok will need to address this, but with other platforms already paying out billions to creators via their established funding frameworks, there’s likely no way that TikTok will realistically ever be able to compete at the same scale.

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Which means that TikTok, for many big stars, will only ever be a supplementary channel, with no direct opportunity for broader monetization. That could see fewer of them go putting real effort into their TikTok clips – and if they can also use Reels and Shorts to directly promote their main money-making content, why would they bother continuing to post on TikTok at all?

Also, what if Facebook and YouTube start doing out exclusive contracts to their most popular creators?

TikTok is huge now, and is on track to get significantly bigger this year, but much of its success still relies on top stars continuing to share clips. If that flow of content stops, your ‘For You’ feed could get real boring, real quick, which could, eventually, become an existential issue for the app.

We’re not close to that stage yet, but that’s what both YouTube and Facebook are pushing for, and with Facebook Reels now providing the capacity to reach another 2.9 billion potential subscribers, that’s a big lure, which may still see Meta’s short-form options become a bigger consideration.

Which is why this other wrinkle is also interesting – in addition to the expanded launch of Facebook Reels, Facebook’s also launched a new promo campaign for its growing stable of long-form video creators.

Storytelling Goes Here

As explained by Meta:

“The ‘Storytelling Goes Here’ campaign showcases video content that reflects the diversity of high quality long-form videos we have on Facebook from Creators, Publishers and Originals, and shares what a person may watch and where they might see an in-stream video brand advertisement.”

As noted, YouTube is also moving along the same lines, with the recent addition of a Shorts display within each Channel’s uploads listing.

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The core message being that short-form content is great, but long-form is where the money is. And TikTok can’t offer both.

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Which is why this is such a critical expansion, and with Facebook usage stalling (in some regions) and video now accounting for almost half of all the time people spend in the app, it also makes sense to lean into Reels and make the most of its TikTok-fueled popularity.

Facebook’s also testing more direct monetization tools for Reels, including the expansion of its Reels Play bonus program for top-performing clips, and Stars tipping within the Reels experience.

It’s also testing a new sticker ad option for Reels that will enable creators to attach sponsored content to their clips.

“We’re expanding tests of Facebook Reels Overlay Ads to all creators in the US, Canada and Mexico, and to more countries in the coming weeks. We’re starting with two formats: banner ads that appear as a semi-transparent overlay at the bottom of a Facebook Reel, and sticker ads: a static image ad that can be placed by a creator anywhere within their reel. These non-interruptive ads enable creators to earn a portion of the ad revenue.

Facebook Reels ad stickers

That will provide even more monetization potential, to a potentially massive audience – and I can envisage some creators re-uploading popular clips with these stickers attached to make a quick buck.

But long-form content is where the real push is coming, and where the real pressure is being heaped onto TikTok to help its top stars earn big in the app.

And I’m not sure TikTok can do it – I’m not sure that TikTok, or indeed any short-form video-focused app, will ever be able to provide comparable earnings potential to longer-form hosts, at least in the current state.

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Which is why TikTok is also exploring long-form clips, as well as live-streams to build out its own platform.

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And that’ll work to a degree – and again, it’s not like TikTok is on the brink of failure anytime soon. But money, as they say, talks, and it’ll be speaking very loudly into the ears of all creators once they reach a certain level of fame, which could turn TikTok into a wasteland of one-off clips and desperadoes trying to latch onto viral fame.

Less sustainable, less interesting, and ultimately, less popular over time.



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New Legal Challenges Could Further Impact Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Push

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Elon Musk Mulls Tender Offer for Twitter as an Alternative Path to Take Over the App

So as the fifth week of the Elon Musk Twitter takeover drama comes to a close, let’s just check in on how things are progressing.

Oh, it’s bad. Nothing good to see here.

This week, as Musk maintains that his $44 billion takeover offer remains ‘on hold’ due to questions over the accuracy of Twitter’s claim that 5% of its active users are fake, Twitter itself has faced its own drama, connected to the takeover push.

Having already lost several top executives, either directly or indirectly stemming from the pending change in ownership (as well as former CEO Jack Dorsey exiting the company entirely), Twitter is now facing a battle over its board members, with Silver Lake Partners’ Egon Durban resigning from the board after Twitter shareholders blocked his re-election.

Durban was given a Twitter board seat in 2020, following a push by Elliott Management Group to buy up Twitter shares, and force Jack Dorsey out of his position as CEO. Elliott’s view was that Dorsey was underperforming, and it partnered with Silver Lake to put pressure on the company to either improve its bottom line, or accept a change in management.

That lead to Twitter implementing tough new revenue and growth targets, which it recently admitted that it’s not on track to meet.  

In addition to his work with Twitter and various other public companies, Durban has also been a longtime ally of Elon Musk, and earlier this week, Twitter shareholders voted to stop Durban from being re-appointed, in a move that many viewed as a statement of protest, of sorts, from Twitter investors.

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But as with all things Elon and Twitter, it’s not that simple – today Twitter itself has refused to accept Durban’s resignation.

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In a statement to the SEC, Twitter explained that Durban’s board re-election was likely rejected by shareholders due to him also serving on the board of six other publicly traded companies. Durban has vowed to take a step back from these other commitments, which Twitter says is enough to keep him on its team.

As per Twitter:

“While the Board does not believe that Mr. Durban’s other public company directorships will become an impediment if such engagements were to continue, Mr. Durban’s commitment to reduce his board service commitment to five public company boards by the Remediation Date appropriately addresses the concerns raised by stockholders with regard to such engagements. Accordingly, the Board has reached the determination that accepting Mr. Durban’s Tendered Resignation at this time is not in the best interests of the Company.”

Why does Twitter want to keep Durban on? It’s hard to say – especially given that Musk has noted that he’ll be looking to eliminate Twitter’s board if/when he becomes the platform’s owner.

The inclusion of representatives from key investors, however, may ensure Twitter maintains a level of stability, in case the deal goes south.

And there could be another key reason to maintain the link between Twitter’s board and Musk.

On another front, Twitter shareholders are also mulling a class-action lawsuit against Elon Musk over his Twitter takeover push, based on the allegation that Musk has ‘violated California corporate laws on several fronts’ with his Twitter acquisition commentary, effectively engaging in market manipulation.

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As reported by CNBC:

In one potential violation, they claim that Musk financially benefited by delaying required disclosures about his stake in Twitter and by temporarily concealing his plan in early April to become a board member at the social network. Musk also snapped up shares in Twitter, the complaint says, while he knew insider information about the company based on private conversations with board members and executives, including former CEO Jack Dorsey, a longtime friend of Musk’s, and Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban, a Twitter board member whose firm had previously invested in SolarCity before Tesla acquired it.”

Maybe that’s why Twitter wants to keep Durban in-house, due to both his past dealings with Musk, which may help ease the deal through, or to assist shareholders in their class action.

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Durban’s current participation likely doesn’t hold any additional legal clout in this respect, but there may be some linkage between these two aspects of the increasingly messy Twitter deal.

And yes, there is still a possibility that the Musk takeover may not happen.

Musk himself has repeatedly and publicly vowed that he will not pay for the company unless it can convince him that its data on fake profiles is accurate – though Twitter maintains that there’s no such thing as the deal being ‘on hold’ and it’s continuing to prepare for the final transaction to be approved.

But there may also be other complications, with the SEC now investigating Musk’s conduct in the lead-up to his Twitter takeover push. Add to that his many public criticisms and disclosures, which border on market manipulation (as per the proposed shareholder action) and there could well be a breakpoint for Musk’s Twitter deal, where authorities simply veto the process entirely due to his conduct.

Could that be Musk’s plan? Various analysts have suggested that Musk is looking for a way out of the acquisition, and while the overall sentiment is that Musk will, eventually, be forced to pay-up, and take ownership of the app, there are still some legal cracks that he could explore that could end the transaction.

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Which would be a disaster for Twitter.

While investors are unhappy with Musk right now, especially since his various comments and critiques have tanked the stock, Musk walking away would leave Twitter in a much lesser state, with many product leaders gone, and a declining share price that would be difficult to correct, given the various questions raised by Musk about its processes.

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Could Twitter get itself back on track, and back to growth, if Musk were to abandon his takeover push?

In essence, Musk walking away would be a big, public statement that Twitter is not a good investment, and as the media hype dies down, that could see interest in the app decline even further, harming growth for, potentially, years to come.

Maybe that, then, is Musk’s real intent here – to harm the company so much that it has no choice but to accept a lower offer price, which could save Elon himself millions in his takeover bid.

Either way, right now, it’s not looking good, and there are many moving parts that must be keeping current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal up at night.

It still seems like the Elon era is coming, but when, exactly, is a whole other question.

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