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Could Facebook’s latest move take down TikTok?

Posted on March 25, 2021

 

Social media giant Facebook has announced that it will be testing out the ability to share its Instagram Reels to news feeds on Facebook, in a move set to weaken the influence of video sharing app TikTok.

Since its release in 2016, TikTok has taken the social media world by storm. The app allows people to film, edit and share short, bite-sized videos.

According to Business 2 Community, the power of TikTok has, naturally, alarmed Facebook, which has been a dominator within the social media market for years. Its most significant concern has been that of “migration”, wherein users of both Instagram and Facebook are transitioning over to TikTok. Last year, Facebook released a rival feature called Reels, on its Instagram app, which generated a lot of buzz, but hasn’t diminished the power of TikTok.

Reels was first released in India, and it saw considerable success in the country, likely due to the fact that TikTok was banned there not long before the launch of Reels. Returning to India, Facebook is now trialling out users being able to share their Reels to their accounts on Facebook as well as Instagram.

The social network said in a statement about the testing:

“In India, we’re testing the ability for Instagram creators to choose to have their Reels recommended on Facebook… creators can reach new audiences and people can create and discover more entertaining content.”

This move will not only strengthen the interconnectivity of Instagram and Facebook, but it will also allow Reels to reach a wider audience, which could be a selling point for many content creators. As of February this year, Facebook had a total of 2.6 billion active monthly users worldwide, with Instagram also having 1 billion. In comparison, TikTok has a relatively modest 689 million active monthly users.

The potential to reach such a huge number of users via sharing Reels on Facebook will no doubt have a massive appeal to those who create video content. Those who hope to have their fingers in both pies and who think that they can simply reuse their TikToks on Facebook to gain more exposure will be in for some bad news though – Facebook will be clamping down on those who reuse content from other apps, including TikTok, in an effort to make Reels a platform in which unique, original content is created and shared. This could cleverly sway people away from using TikTok in favour of the wide reach Facebook and Instagram can offer.

In addition, Facebook’s updates that provide users to make more money through videos could well be applied to Reels too, although we won’t know for certain until the feature is out of testing. While it is currently being tested out only in India, I have next to no doubt that Reels on news feeds will be rolled out worldwide before long – Facebook has nothing to lose and much to gain. Could this see the decline of TikTok? We can only guess at this stage, but the odds certainly point in Facebook’s favour.

If you want to talk about creating video content for your business, or about establishing a strong presence on social media, give us a call at Engage Web.

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