Launch of Instagram Reels
Early this month, Instagram launched its new video format, Instagram Reels. In essence, Instagram Reels is a way to record and discover creative and fun short-form videos. Up till now, Instagram has catered to an audience that not necessarily overlaps with the younger userbase of rival platform, TikTok. However, with Instagram Reels, it seems that Instagram is aiming to close that gap. The format is currently being rolled out in 50 countries worldwide.
The new feature lets users create and publish 15-second videos using a new set of editing tools that include options like a music library, AR effects, a countdown timer, and a new align tool to piece together different shots. In addition, unlike Instagram Stories, Reels have a longer shelf life than just 24 hours.
With the TikTok app facing bans in certain countries, the introduction of Instagram Reels is a timely one. However, whether creators will continue to create on TikTok, or shift their efforts to Instagram (where they may already have an established following), is something that is yet to be seen.
TikTok Announces $1B Creator Fund
In a bid to get creators creating more content on its platform, TikTok announced the Creator Fund, a fund that it says will grow from $200 million to $1 billion over the next 3 years. According to TikTok, the Creator Fund is its way of giving back to ambitious TikTok creators of all sorts, and to help support those who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their original and innovative video content.
Since the Creator Fund was announced, TikTok has also identified the first recipients of the fund in America, showcasing the company’s commitment to rewarding the dedication of the platform’s growing community of content creators.
Twitter Limits Replies For Safe Conversations
Twitter has announced that they are now making a new reply-limiting feature available to all users, giving them more control over who can respond to their tweets.
The new feature allows users to set parameters around who they allow replies from, thereby excluding everyone else from being able to respond. According to initial research by Twitter, users are more comfortable tweeting with the reply limiting feature as they feel more protected from spam and abuse from trolls. At the same time, they are also more willing to then share more of their thoughts, potentially leading to more meaningful conversations on the platform.
Facebook Gets Back On The Hashtag Bandwagon
Hashtags on Facebook have never exactly taken off. In fact, according to a study by BuzzSumo, content without hashtags saw more reach on average than those with tags added. However, Facebook has recently begun prompting its users to add hashtags to their content, with the promise of increased reach.
While hashtags on platforms like Instagram and Twitter are a great way of discovering new content, and following trending conversations, its success on a platform like Facebook really depends on whether users are willing to accept and use hashtags like they do on other social media channels. For now, unless Facebook comes up with a more intuitive way of searching hashtags, this may be something that will eventually fall off the bandwagon again.