If there was ever any doubt about just how much of a threat TikTok poses to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg recently cleared things up when he cited the competitor as the reason Facebook for the first time ever. Now, the company is ready to push its TikTok clone into more parts of its social network as it tries to counter those declines.
The social network is officially launching “Facebook Reels,” the Facebook-centric version of the feature that first launched on Instagram last year. The company has already been experimenting with Reels in Feed and encouraging users to cross-post their videos across the services for some time. But with the latest launch, Reels will be available as a standalone feature on Facebook in more than 150 countries.
Facebook will also be pushing Reels into even more parts of its app. In addition to placing Reels at the top of users’ , the company will allow users to share Reels inside of Stories and enable users to turn Stories posts into Reels. Facebook Watch, which has typically focused on longer form video, will also host Reels content, as will Groups. And the company says it will start experimenting with recommending “suggested Reels” in some users’ Feeds. In other words: Reels will be in just about every surface of Facebook where users typically view and share video.
The expansion will be a major test for the company, which has made competing with TikTok and luring more to its platform a top priority. And Zuckerberg has made clear that he believes Reels is the best way to win over those users, many of whom are increasingly spending their time on TikTok rather than Facebook. During Meta’s earnings call earlier this month, Zuckerberg said the company was “in the middle of a transition on our own services towards short form video like Reels.”
To further incentive Reels creators, Facebook is also making monetization features available to more people. Monetization features currently include banner ads and sticker ads, but the company plans to start testing Stars, which allow fans to buy “gifts” for creators. The moneymaking tools could help the company differentiate from TikTok, which has recently been criticized for low creator fund .
On the other hand, Facebook could still have a tough time standing out from its main competitor. Instagram has already had users from simply reposting old TikTok content as Reels. Reels also offers dramatically fewer editing and creative tools relative to TikTok, though Facebook now says it’s working on additional features like the ability to save posts as drafts.
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