It has been over a year since Facebook revealed that Instagram was launching its own TikTok-style competitor. That feature is called Reels, and, as you can imagine, it’s all about creating short-form video set to some (popular ?) music. And now the feature is going wide.
Today, Facebook has announced that it is officially launching Reels on Facebook for all users in the United States. That’s for both iOS and Android users. This comes after Facebook tested this experience within the standard Facebook app earlier this year. Apparently that went well enough to bring the feature to all users pretty quickly.
With Reels baked right into Facebook, this means users will probably start seeing the short-form videos a lot more. But, it will give Facebook the footprint it wants to help the feature grow basically exponentially. And considering the social network is looking to compete with TikTok and Snapchat, that exposure is a big deal.
When the Reels do show up, users will see them in two places: Groups and, yes, in the News Feed. If you select a Reel to watch, you’ll be able to quickly and easily follow that creator if you want to. And you’ll be able to share it beyond your own News Feed or Group, and like and comment.
For the creators:
- Get Discovered in News Feed: Reels can reach everyone, not just your existing followers, making it possible for the most creative, funny and inspiring people to break out. People can discover reels based on their interests and what’s popular both at the top of News Feed alongside Stories and Rooms and in a new, dedicated News Feed section.
- Express Yourself in Groups: Creators and group members can create and share reels in Groups to express themselves and engage in a more fun and visual way with their favorite interest communities, like The Galactic Empire of Chonky Woofers and Post-Apocalypse Office. And for admins, we’re rolling out a new ‘Single Theme’ group setting that makes it easy to prompt members to share their reels.
- Share from Instagram to Facebook to Reach New Audiences: We’re testing the ability for Instagram creators to have their reels recommended on Facebook. In this test, a small number of Instagram creators will see an option to have their reel recommended on Facebook. The choice to do this is completely in their control.
It’s been an inevitable addition, really, but at least it’s finally happened. Now Facebook users who don’t love Reels will probably just have to learn to live with them. At least for a little while.