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Instagram Adds Reels Replies, Providing Another Way to Tap into Short-Form Video


It’s been in testing for a while, but today, Instagram has officially announced that users can now reply to post comments with Reels, providing another way to integrate Reels into the Instagram process.

Instagram Reels replies

As you can see in this example, now, when you reply to a comment on a post, you’ll also have the option to tap on the blue Reels button to create a video reply, which will then appear as a sticker that you can send to the commentor.

Here’s another look at the process in action (via @TheBKH):

It’s another way to help Instagram boost engagement, while also leaning into the short-form video trend. It’s also, unsurprisingly, almost identical to the same feature that TikTok added in June last year.

Instagram’s added some new color options to the sticker, but essentially it’s the same thing. Which, given Instagram’s more recent history, is pretty much par for the course – though you will be able to reply to comments on regular posts and videos with Reels too, which expands the function a little.

On one hand, as with all of Instagram’s copycat functions, it feels a little cheap, a little stale maybe to see it simply re-create what TikTok already does.

On the other hand, it’s working – Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in the company’s most recent earnings announcement that Reels is now “the primary driver of engagement growth” on the platform, with millions of users now interacting with Reels clips every day. If Meta can keep a few more short video fans on its apps, instead of seeing them drift off to TikTok, that’s a win, and that, in itself, is likely enough to justify its continued copying of TikTok’s features.

But I maintain that if Meta really wants to win back younger users, it needs to come out with new, unique features, and lead the way with the latest trends. A side-effect of replication is that you are inherently following someone else, and if you’re not seen as the leader in the latest shifts, you’re unlikely to be the cool app, and the place where younger users are primarily interacting.

Meta, of course, knows this. In fact, it’s a key part of Facebook’s growth story – once Facebook overtook MySpace as the primary social app of choice among mong users back in 2005, MySpace tried to copy Facebook’s key tools, in a last-ditch effort to stem the user migration.


That clearly didn’t work, and Facebook eventually became the place to be, which then propelled the company to bigger and better things.

TikTok is on a similar trajectory, and while Meta’s family of apps is far bigger than MySpace ever was, it’s not unfeasible to imagine TikTok becoming the top social app at some stage in the near future.

Meta has already said that it’s making young users a focus, and as part of that, it really needs to re-establish itself as the leader, not the follower of the latest trends.




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


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 de 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 här, 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:

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 här.


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