At this stage, Meta has no specific data points to share on the response to Facebook Reels, however, Moon Baz, Meta’s Middle East Africa & Turkey director of creator partnerships, can confirm that Reels is now the company's fastest-growing content format by far.
"It’s already the biggest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram and it’s growing very quickly on Facebook too. As we continue to improve tools for creators, ranking for people watching, and as we roll out the product everywhere across the world, we expect that this will continue growing quickly," comments Baz.
Meta is focused on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered, connect with their audience and earn money. "For people, we want to make it fun and easy to find and share relevant and entertaining content," says Baz.
At the top of your Facebook feed, you’ll see the option to switch between stories and reels. Stories on Facebook can be used to share everyday moments with friends, followers and people you’ve chatted with on Messenger. Stories are only visible for 24 hours, but you can always revisit stories you’ve shared in your story archive. Learn more about Stories on Facebook.
On the other hand, Reels on Facebook are short-form videos that can include music, audio, AR effects, and other options. You can watch reels from creators and make your own reels to share with friends around the world. Find out how to get started with Reels on Facebook.
"Taking Reels globally is an important moment for us, as this remains one of our top priorities. Facebook is a great place to foster community - not just a place where fans/followers like your post and comment, it’s a place where community members can interact and find inspiration from one another," notes Baz.
When asked about the limitation on Facebook Reels, for example, would a personal account and a business account be able to do the same thing, Baz responded, "You can create Facebook Reels across personal/non-business accounts in addition to business accounts. Both types of accounts will have access to the same creation tools. Of note, if a business account wants to use licensed music for commercial purposes, they must clear the music rights directly with the relevant rights-holder(s)."
Meta recognises that they still have work to do to make this a great experience for the community, but they’re excited to take this step in enabling more creativity on our platforms. "We’ll learn from how our community uses Reels on Facebook and improve the experience over time," says Baz.
Competing with TikTok?
It can be assumed that Facebook Reels was launched to compete with TikTok. But what differentiates the two platforms?
Baz says, "We’re focusing on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered, connect with their audience and earn money. We also want to make it fun and easy for people to find and share relevant and entertaining content."
In addition to the unique opportunities offered by the nature of the network and community people have on Facebook, the company has introduced some notable features unique to FB Reels including new creation tools like clipping tools for VOD/live creators, more places for people to find and create Facebook Reels such as Facebook Watch and recommended reels in Feed – giving creators more opportunities to get discovered by new audiences.
"Perhaps most notably, building on our deep experience in helping creators earn meaningful income from our monetisation products like in-stream ads and Stars, we’re also building direct monetisation options for Facebook Reels through ad revenue share and fan support. We’re expanding tests of Facebook Reels Overlay Ads to all creators in the US, Canada and Mexico, and to more countries in the coming weeks," adds Baz.
As part of the $1bn creator investment, Meta will expand the Reels Play bonus programme, which pays eligible creators up to $35,000 (R528,000) a month based on the views of their qualifying reels – to more countries, so more creators can get rewarded for creating reels that their communities love.
In December 2021, Meta introduced new features on Facebook that allow creators to express themselves, build and engage a fan community, and make money pursuing their passions.
"We understand that many creators — especially those who are just starting out — are on profiles, hence the roll-out of a new professional mode for profiles," comments Baz.
Professional mode will open up access to post, audience and profile insights, as well as give easy access to monetisation features – all in one place. For example, creators will be able to see the total number of shares, reactions and comments that posts have, and allow them to review their follower growth over time.
This new mode is being tested with a limited number of profiles in the US, and will begin rolling out in EMEA next year.
More opportunities to earn money
The platform has also provided a number of different opportunities for creators to earn money for their reels. "After seeing creators embrace the Instagram Reels Summer bonus, we hope that this new bonus will allow more creators to make money from their content," notes Baz.
Baz explains that the Reels Play bonus is initially invite-only, beginning in the US and potentially expanding globally over time. Interested creators can sign up to learn more about the Facebook Reels Play bonus and can visit the Facebook for Creators blog to learn best practices for creating reels.
Find out more about Meta Investing $1 Billion in Creators
In addition to the features announced last year, creators will have access to the following features/updates over the coming weeks:
The trends of short-form video
"The broader shift to video that we're seeing is incredibly important. Video has become one of the most popular formats for people to express themselves - it accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook. From Stories and Facebook Watch to Facebook Live and now Reels, we have different ways people can share and enjoy video on our platforms," says Baz.
During Q4 earnings, Mark Zuckerberg talked about investment priorities for 2022, the first of which is Reels. It’s clear short-form video will be an increasing part of how people consume content moving forward, and Reels is now Meta's fastest-growing content format by far.
Baz says "It’s already the biggest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram and it’s growing very quickly on Facebook too. As we continue to improve tools for creators, ranking for people watching, and as we roll out the product everywhere across the world, we expect that this will continue growing quickly."
For businesses seeking additional avenues to get discovered by new audiences, Facebook Reels allows for a new way to create short, entertaining videos to engage followers.
Privacy has become quite a concern to many internet users. We asked Baz about the privacy policies for Facebook Reels, and she responded "Facebook Reels are first set to the public audience, but users can change their audience while creating a reel and can change it any time. They can also set a default audience for their future reels. Audience settings can be adjusted at any time. You can change the audience for each individual reel or you can select a default audience setting (i.e. if you choose ‘Friends’ as your default, all of your Reels on Facebook will be set to ‘Friends’ instead of ‘Public’)."