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The Growth of Instagram Reels

The Growth of Instagram Reels

We first talked about Instagram Reels on the blog a few months ago.  Since then, the feature has really taken off, especially among younger Instagram users.  Today, we’re revisiting the topic of Instagram Reels, and taking a look at the way it has grown over the past few months.

Growth and Usage 

As expected, Instagram Reels users have come to use the feature in a very similar fashion as the way competitor TikTok is used.  Reels seemed to be released as a direct response to TikTok, offering a platform for short-form videos, putting multiple short clips together, a library of background audio choices, and the ability to layer stickers and text on video content.  As Reels has taken off since the end of 2020, it has seen users posting similar content to that on TikTok. 

Also not surprisingly, Reels has been used mostly by a young audience, ranging from teenagers to young adults.  Brands who target these younger individuals have also been making wide use of Reels to meet them where they’re at and appeal to this crowd.    

Applications 

So it is clear that Reels is growing and seeing pretty impressive usage numbers.  How can your brand take advantage of this?  

Reels are a great way to share content in a different way than your brand’s usual methods, and to share content that doesn’t lend itself well to stories or grid posts.  The most successful Reels are short, entertaining, and make use of effects like background music and stickers.  Audiences’ attention spans are shorter than ever in our digital world: making a fun and snappy Reel for your brand is a great way to capture potential customers’ attention.   

Depending on your specific business, there are a variety of cases in which you might want to share your content using Reels.  If you have a recipe or step-by-step process you want to show in a short and entertaining way, instead of a full-length video on IG Live, Reels is a great way to do that.  It’s also a great way to show off new products or offerings, with text overlay to describe what the offering is, stickers to make it pop visually, and background music to make it even more fun to watch.   

These are just a few examples of the many ways Reels can work for your business. Even more so than many other platforms, it is a great place to get creative and playful with your content! You don’t need to take yourself or your business too seriously when sharing Reels. 

Looking Forward 

It is clear that Reels is growing and evolving, and becoming widely used by both individuals and businesses alike.  This growth does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  With the continuing popularity of TikTok and other platforms for sharing short-form videos, Reels will likely be able to capitalize on that popularity as well. 

Furthermore, Instagram itself seems to be encouraging the uptake of Reels in unique ways.  Many content creators have found that their following and engagement both grew substantially after beginning to use Reels consistently.  It is hard to tell whether this is an intentional part of the Instagram algorithm, favoring accounts that make use of Reels, or just that people really do like watching Reels and attract more users to your account organically.  Either way, using Reels seems to have benefited many accounts. 

We will be interested to watch the trajectory of Reels over the course of the year and see where it goes from here.  Whatever specific path it takes, it seems like Instagram Reels is here to stay, at least for a while. 

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