Facebook is running a limited test ‘Facebook Reels’ in the U.S. The new feature is the parent company‘s version of the short-form Instagram Reels video. Facebook Reel will allow Facebook users to create and share short-video content directly within their News Feed or Facebook Groups.
The social media giant is already running a similar test in India, Mexico, and Canada whereas the limited rollout in the U.S is an extension of the test. The test will enable Instagram users to cross-post their reels on Facebook.
Facebook Reels Creation Tools Similar To Instagram
Facebook users in the test group can tap the ‘Create’ button from the reels section in their News Feed and access a standard set of tools similar to those on Instagram including video capture, camera roll import, music selection, and timed text.
Audio options for Facebook Reels include Facebook Music Library, record original music, or using music from others Reels if set ‘public’. Other features comprise many augmented reality effects created by Facebook or third-party, editing tools like a timer for hands-free recording, tools to speed up or slow down a part of audio or video.
Even though ‘most’ of the Instagram reels features will be available on Facebook reels, the Remix feature will be added later. Also, the user interface of Facebook Reels will evolve depending on the feedback to differentiate from Instagram Reels.
Facebook Reels Can Be Shared To All
After the creation of Facebook Reels, users can share it with Friends, specific audiences, or the public. It can also be shared with the members of Facebook Groups who share similar interests.
Users can check their past creations under the ‘My Reels’ option and can browse Reels created by others in the News Feed, Search, or Groups. Shared Facebook or Instagram Reels will be recommended to users based on popularity, interest, and engagement.
Why did Facebook Replicate Reels?
As a justification to the test, the company explained, “nearly half of time spent on the app is watching videos.” On Facebook’s earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that “Reels is growing quickly across all forms of videos and is the largest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram.”
It would be interesting to see whether people will dedicate the same time and effort to create content ‘Reels’ specially for Facebook.
Instagram Reels doubled the previous time- limit of 30 seconds and added functionality for a caption sticker.
Now, you can record Reels up to one minute long. Instagram announced that the Reels time limit is doubled to 60 seconds for all users.
Reels. up to 60 secs. starting today. pic.twitter.com/pKWIqtoXU2
— Instagram (@instagram) July 27, 2021
Within a month of its launch, Instagram extended Reels from 15 to 30 seconds. Recently, Tik Tok expanded its time limit to 3-minute, and YouTube Shorts also has a 60 second time limit, so it was unsurprising for Instagram to follow the trend. However, it is wise for Instagram to expand Reels to 60-second as it gives creators more capacity to work with.
It is mainly useful for creators who repurpose the same posts that they are uploading on TikTok or other competitor’s apps to grow their following across multiple platforms. Cross-posting is beneficial to the creators but also to Instagram, as it gives more content for Reels.
ProTip: Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t promote cross-posting content with a TikTok watermark, as it will affect your reach.
Instagram also added functionality for a caption sticker on Reels. It converts audio to text making for people who want to enjoy the Reels without sound. However, this is available only in a handful of English-speaking countries but Instagram plans to expand to other countries and languages soon.