[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Instagram Converts All Videos To Reels In New Test

In news that will surprise absolutely nobody, Instagram has said it’s working on more changes to Reels.

TechCrunch revealed that all videos will be automatically converted into Reels. Testing is being carried out with select users around the world and is part of efforts to “simplify and improve the video experience on Instagram”, a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch over email.

Instagram is testing new Reels changes

The change means that if your account is public and you post a video that automatically gets turned into a Reel, anyone can discover it and use it to create their own Reel. For marketers, this could result in a boost in discoverability and engagement – for ordinary users, you may want to set your account to private.

According to a screenshot posted by social media consultant Matt Navarra, Instagram told selected trialists the following:

  • Video posts are now shared as reels.
  • Enhance your video with music, effects and editing tools.
  • Your account is public, so anyone can discover your video and use your original audio to create a reel.
  • Anyone can create a remix with your reel and download it as part of their remix. You can turn off remixing from your settings or on each reel.

As an FYI, Navarra has shown that Facebook is giving creators the option to post a video as a Reel.

Like videos… but more horizontal

There’s not a huge amount of difference between ordinary videos and Reels, except that users have access to a powerful library of editing tools – plus functions such as remix. As mentioned, Reels are also made for discovery and will appear on the Reels discover page. Marketers will probably think this is brilliant and look to double down on the Reels revolution.

Not all good

The feature is in testing, so there’s no way of knowing whether it’ll become permanent. If it does, it could make life very difficult for marketers who like posting horizontal videos to Instagram, which will clash with Reels’ vertical format. Currently, all Reels are limited to 90 seconds, would this apply to videos moving forward? If so, you can see it crushing the creativity of some accounts.

Reels are driving Instagram

Meta has focused on Reels for the first quarter of 2022 and 20% of the time spent on the app is done watching Reels. It comes as no great surprise that the reels-ification of Insta continues, especially as its greatest rival – TikTok – goes from strength to strength.

We’ve already heard Insta Head Adam Mosseri say it was no longer a photo sharing app and lay down his plans for an increased focus on video. So far, everything we’ve seen mirrors those claims.

Other data supplied by Meta indicates that more than 45% of accounts on Instagram interact with a Reel at least once a week.

Facebook for Business

“Your brand’s presence on Instagram already gives you an advantage in this shift to video. Your brand’s presence on Instagram already gives you an advantage in this shift to video.”

Some hot tips

To make the most of Reels, Instagram has provided some recommended best practise. You can read them here:

  • Nail the hook: With your brand objective in mind, you need to nail the first few seconds of your video. If you want to build recognition, highlight your brand in the first few seconds of your Reel. If you want conversions, show your product or service in action. And, above all, keep it short and sweet.
  • Use creative transitions. Experiment with transitions to entertain viewers and deliver a sense of personality. Use augmented reality, custom audio and timers to keep things fresh.
  • Match the rhythm. Sync your music with the video and use that power to grab an audience’s attention. Reels are a big engagement driver and over 80% are watched with sound on – so make use of music.
  • Be trendy. Trends are trends for a reason, so try to stay in touch with the latest and newest ones on Reels. Take part in cultural moments and popular challenges that are relevant to your brand.
  • Explore collaborations. Partner with creators to tell a story in a new and fresh way. Collabs with influencers boost engagement and drive awareness. Branded Content ads saw 123% lift in awareness, 112% lift in association and 67% in consideration and motivation.
  • Show your true self. Create Reels that are true to you and reflect brand values.


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