It took Instagram’s Snapchat clone less than six months to reach the audience size of its competitor and slow Snapchat user growth, just as the company was preparing to make its Wall Street debut in 2017.
But Instagram and its parent company Facebook (FB) is finding it harder for TikTok to do the same with TikTok.
Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video product, on August 5 in the US, days after former President Donald Trump announced plans to enter TikTok Ban Chinese-owned property in the country and dispatch panicked users Look for alternatives.
Six months later, it’s not taking off as the company hoped it would. TikTok has outlasted the Trump administration and continues to be popular with around 100 million users in the US, which has had a significant impact on American pop culture and a loyal mix of influencers who appear to be nowhere going. Unlike Stories at this point in its history, Instagram has not yet published any metrics on Reels.
“T. ikTok is light years ahead of Reels,” said Evan Asano, CEO of influencer marketing agency Mediakix, referring to the company’s powerful content recommendation system TikTok and the fact that the app is far more focused than Instagram, which has a growing list of competing video offerings.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, recently admitted Reels had work to do, hinting that Instagram needs to simplify or consolidate its various video product offerings.
According to what he said “I’m not happy with that yet,” Mosseri last said in a Verge interview Month over roles. “We’re growing in terms of both how much people share and how much people consume, but we still have a long way to go.“
And also Facebook has been scrutinized by regulators and critics for its aggressive approach to acquiring or cloning rivals to maintain dominance in the social media market. However, Instagram’s early struggle with TikTok is a reminder that many Facebook mimics products have fallen or it is easy to build a clone; creating a vibrant community isn’t even for the social media giant.
Instagram has made several tweaks to the product since launch, including sharing Reels with its own dedicated tab on Instagram’s home screen and adding more editing tools. But Instagram Reels largely remains home to TikToks’s biggest hits, with many people republishing popular TikTok videos with platform watermark on Reels. You often scroll through Reels movies and watch one TikTok movie after another.
“Everyone will always tell me,” I’m going to film TikToks, “but never say,” We’re going to shoot Reels, “said Parker Pannell, 17, 2.4 million TikTok followers who think of posting to Reels as an afterthought. “TikTok creates trends, builds new creators, people build their most loyal followers [there]. People are so committed to the TikTok community that they’re not ready to switch to another platform such as Reels. ”
Not the first time Instagram has struggled to gain traction with video. In 2018, it launched a new long-form video feature and a standalone app called IGTV, in an effort to better compete with YouTube, but it ran into trouble. take off. Instagram eventually removed the IGTV button from the top of people’s feeds because hardly anyone clicked on it. Now IGTV videos are part of the main feed.
With Reels, Instagram has tried to replicate much of what it makes popular TikTok, including editing effects and the ability to add music or background sound. But what’s more difficult to emulate is TikTok’s powerful “For You Page” and its algorithm, which offers videos tailored for interests of each user.
“I would never exclude Instagram in any way. usually the laser was focused on staying on top of the competition, “said Karyn Spencer, CMO of influencer agency Whalar and former chief creator of the small-format video platform Vine.” At the same time, I don’t think any of us experience the same kind of algorithm on Instagram that we currently experience on TikTok. ”
Slower startup with Reels can also highlight a larger problem with Instagram. “Doing the simple thing first” has long been a mantra for the company, but some social media experts say the app has gotten more complicated and confusing as more features are rolled out. . And it’s hard not to feel the influence of Facebook, especially since Instagram’s founders left in 2018. ends up with a monster that no one can understand, ”he said