How Instagram has reeled its way back into the spotlight..

Instagram reels emerged as an in-platform video creation and sharing service in August, 2020. Widely regarded as a direct response to the growing popularity of Tik Tok, reels have quickly adapted to offer many of the same features of its competitor. These features include the green screen and timed text effects. One creative tool that stands out across Instagram, is the newly released align tool. By freezing the final frame of the previous clip and creating a ghost-like outline, this tool aids users in creating seamless video transitions.

Instagram reels currently have limitations in advertising capabilities, with no paid ad formats across the service (unlike Tik Tok which is heavily monetised & relies on paid ad & influencer content). These limitations are due to Instagram’s priority to first build the reels community. For now, Instagram reels may be a tool most effectively utilised by organic advertisers, who can take advantage of the non-sponsored look and feel of the service. 

What are the key strengths of Instagram Reels?

One of the main advantages of reels on Instagram is its sharing capabilities. With a public account activated, reels can be shared to a dedicated ‘explore’ page. This allows the wider Instagram community to discover your brand’s content, with the algorithm prioritising content towards its most closely aligned audience. Users frequenting this page are also more likely to engage with the content on offer, as they approach the site within the discovery mindset.

Another point of strength for reels, is the reputation of Instagram as a highly brand-safe platform. With strict advertising and community policies – the platform could be considered a safer space for advertisers wishing to consider these publishing risks. Comparatively, Tik Tok has gained a reputation of being poorly monitored, with uncontrolled content and even targeting risks (hosting a majority population of young people).

Instagram reels have the potential to expand the audience of your brand, and influence perceptions organically. At the forefront of social media in 2020, you can expect Instagram Reels to gain further traction for advertisers this year. Influencer marketing is currently trending across all social platforms, and continues to grow across Instagram as an organic ad format. With trend culture taking over the digital public sphere, this space is a great point of contact for community and brand to intersect.