It’s no secret that Instagram is losing the war on social media to TikTok. If Meta’s app is ever going to reverse this trend, it must come with new and interesting features.
Or so you would think. Instead, it looks like Instagram is going to continue the Facebook tradition of “If You Can’t Beat It, Copy It.” And damn, it’s copying like crazy from TikTok.
The mighty plan? To turn any video posted on the platform into a Reel. A feature that, if you remember, was stolen from TikTok after all.
Anyway, here’s the news itself:
Instagram now turns ANY video into a Reel
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 30, 2022
Now, according to an email hosted by TechCrunchis the rationale behind Meta’s move to make all Instagram videos Reels “to simplify and improve the video experience.”
On the one hand, yes, that makes sense. It is quite confusing to have two different types of video on one platform. But if you take a step back, the story changes.
In fact, this move appears to be part of a deliberate strategy to mimic TikTok as much as possible to keep users on Meta’s app.
Let’s look at the statistics. On a purely numerical level, Instagram is ahead of TikTok. The previous app has approx 1.4 billion userswhile the last 1 billion.
At first glance this looks good. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The real problem is who uses the apps — and how they use them.
Last year, the number of Gen Z TikTok users surpassed that of Instagram† To reframe that, Meta’s app is going out of fashion among the youth.
This is a problem not only because it hinders future growth, but because Instagram was meant to be Meta’s way to young people, as Facebook has become. the social network for old people†
Those are levels of engagement that cannot be ignored. The reason marketers don’t trip over themselves to get to the platform is simply because they don’t quite understand it yet.
The majority of marketing is a conservative industry, always looking for certainty. While there are easy-to-follow best practices for Instagram, currently none exist for TikTok.
But it will. And when that happens, it’s inevitable that marketers – and their money – will flow to TikTok.
With all this bubbling in the background, it’s hard to see Instagram turning every video on its platform into a Reel not be a response to the burgeoning influence of TikTok.
In fact, Meta panics. Its main competitor is attracting a younger audience that spends much more time on the app than on its own.
In a world where visionaries were held in high esteem, this would be a time for Instagram to experiment and try new ideas to pull users back.
But this is not that world. And instead, Instagram is going to do everything Meta knows: copy someone else and hope it works.