COVID-19 may have forced the lockdown of real-life but the virtual world saw huge developments. Like a drastic increase in the number of users, the launch of new apps, the introduction of some new features on social media, etc. It has opened up the market for the digital world. And speaking of development how can Facebook be not in talks.
Instagram launched a feature inspired by TikTok. A feature where users can make short videos up to 15 seconds. Although considering facebook’s history of launching features and then discontinuing it, we can say Reels are still in their experimental stage. The look and feel of the Reels are exactly like Tik Tok so, in a way Reels is its clone.
Instagram Reel: An Overview
Instagram reels were initially launched in Brazil during march 2019 as Cenus. Why Brazil? Because first, Instagram is highly popular in that market and second, it has a musical culture. Brazil is mostly the trial and test market for all the newly launched features. But due to the recent turn of events and Tik Tok being banned in India, Instagram Reels was launched during July 2020 just after the ban. Now that market tension has gained momentum for TikTok and is under consideration to be banned globally, Instagram launched Reels in 50 more countries in August 2020.
Well, we know that Tik Tok had a huge user base but we may not be aware that Facebook was doing cross-platform promotion of Instagram before the launch of Reel, to motivate Tik Tok users to come on Instagram. Statistics show that Tik Tok had 120 million monthly users only in India, out of which 41% were between the ages of 16 to 24. The download statistics state that TikTok was downloaded 611 million times in India, which is 30% of the entire apps total global download. Therefore, just the ban of Tik Tok in India boosted the download of Instagram with over 1 million. So, we can say that Instagram reels are going to gain huge popularity in India. By seeing these data we can also, be sure that Reels are not going to be discontinued.
When Instagram stories were launched, Facebook applied the same strategy and created the concept fo Snapchat stories which were not so popular in those days.
Reels for Business
Now, what marketers need to understand with reels is that the options of using it for brand and business are different. You will be able to use all the features of reels when you have either a personal Instagram account or a creator Instagram account. But with a business account, you will not be able to use background music. So, you can make better use of reels and show your audience behind the scene, how you work, making of a product, how employee-friendly your brand is, or a story of the thought behind the making of your products. You can do anything with reels to communicate with your audience.
Use transitions and effects to make it dramatic. You can even ask your audience to make reels for your brand and then repost it and this can be series on its own. Using Instagram reels you can have both Instagram influencers and tik tok creator to be your source of delivering brand-influencer partnership content.
Best Alternative of Tik Tok
In my opinion, yes Instagram reels are the best alternative of tik tok. Social media has taken a big drift if we see it as marketers. Now the question is, Are we ready with the digital marketing strategies to make the most of this feature? Or can we implement the Tik Tok strategies for reels? What more additions will fall into this feature? How reels will prove helpful to businesses? What will the businesses have to change in their digital marketing strategies?