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Will Instagram Reels knock TikTok off its top social media spot?

Facebook is continuing its MO to crush competitors by poaching TikTok stars to post on it so… very maybe.

Instagram Reels has just launched in Australia and is the latest in a line of Facebook cloning features from its competitors. In 2016, FB eclipsed Snapchat by launching Instagram Stories. In 2018, FB tried to take on YouTube with IGTV. In May 2020, FB threatened Amazon by shipping ‘Shops’ for e-commerce on Insta.


TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020, according to Adweek.

And TikTok’s core demographic is rapidly changing. While once dominated by Gen-Z users, Millennials now make up a greater share of TikTok’s user base than ever before — making the platform a much more attractive proposition for advertisers.

According to recent data from Comscore, the percentage of US-based TikTok users aged between 25-34 increased from 22.4% in January to 27.4% in April, while the 18-24 year old bracket fell from 41.1% to 35.3%.


↪ Reels, now available in Australia, lets users make short vids with musical tracks.

↪ FB announced Reels in Nov 2019, and is now reportedly paying popular TikTok stars to leave TikTok and post on Reels instead.

↪ According to the Wall Street Journal Instagram has made big offers to some of TikTok's top creators. The biggest $$ goes to those who go Reels-exclusive.

↪ FB hopes that these influencers will bring their millions of followers to Reels. Hence TikTok announcing a $200M fund of its own to counter FB's courting and keep stars on TikTok.


Similar to TikTok, with Reels, Instagram users can record and edit together 15-second video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile.

Instagram Reels has its own version of the For You page: the new Reels Explore Feed. You can find the Reels feed on the Instagram Explore Page.

Instead of only seeing Reels from accounts you follow as you scroll, you will see Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.

While the Reels algorithm hasn’t been locked down yet, it feels similar to the TikTok For You page. It’s likely influenced by who you already follow, what content you interact with, and where you’re located.

And just like TikTok, if you find a song or audio clip you like, you can tap the music and select “Use Audio”.

HOT TIP: Look at the other videos using that audio and see what’s out there. It never hurts to take inspiration and jump on a trend!

Users can also select music from a huge library or use their own audio. On top of selecting and adding music, there are a number of handy video editing tools to explore. A video countdown timer, the option to adjust your video’s speed, and a library of video effects to choose from.


Success breeds copycats, but not all copycats are created equal. Facebook isn't the only one trying to replicate TikTok features, and since these product ideas can’t be patented, they're up for grabs when they launch.

Which channel do you think you'll choose, and will that be down to UX, ad and marketing capabilities, or politics?

Speaking of politics and social media, should we give a shit if TikTok is banned?


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