Reels was not well received by users when Instagram first introduced it. Many claimed it was a TikTok knockoff and urged Instagram to “make Instagram Instagram again.”. Reels appears to have found its footing, though, and is now boosting platform engagement. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Reels’ success is the reason why time spent on Instagram increased by 24%.
What has changed, then? According to Zuckerberg, artificial intelligence plays a significant role in why everyone is so drawn to Reels. A significant portion of the outcomes we are seeing today in our discovery engine, Reels, and advertisements has been “driven” by ranking systems and AI recommendations. Additionally, Instagram has introduced new tools for Reels creators, such as new metrics, gifts, and a section where users can “find inspiration” through trending audio and hashtags.
It’s obvious that people value short-form video, and Reels is giving content producers a place to share their work. Although the increase in engagement cannot be measured, Meta is pleased with the results so far. The business reported a first-quarter revenue of $28.6 billion, up 3% from the same period last year. A $5.7 billion net profit was nonetheless reported by the company, in part as a result of the costs associated with the restructuring of 21,000 jobs.
Despite the initial backlash, it appears that Reels has a following on Instagram and is increasing engagement there. It will be interesting to see how Reels develops in the future given the ongoing advancement of AI and new tools for creators.