Facebook to focus on Reels to benefit from short video popularity

Facebook to focus on Reels to benefit from short video popularity
Photo Credit: Pexels
9 Mar, 2021

In a bid to grow its footprint in the high-demand short video segment, social media giant Facebook said it will increase its focus on Reels, a feature that allows Instagram users to create short clips.  

The company said on Tuesday that it is testing a new Instagram capability, which would allow creators to have their public Reels recommended to users on the Facebook app.  

The move would not only expand content reach for creators, but also make it easier for them to be discovered, Facebook said in a statement. 

The capability is currently live for select creators and public figures in India, including Youtube stars Ashish Chanchlani and Bong Guy, influencer Awez Darbar, chefs Pankaj Bhadouria, Pooja Dhingra and Sanjeev Kapoor, and cricketers Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh.  

Reels on Facebook

The Mark Zuckerberg-led social network will also allow users to shoot, edit, and share Reels directly on the Facebook app.  

The platform began testing this feature as ‘Short Videos’ in August 2020. It has now been rebranded as Reels to align with Instagram. The feature can be accessed from the post creation section. User can also trim, combine, or enhance a clip with a range of tools, including music, AR effects, timer, and speed controls. 

Once a Reel is shared on Facebook, it becomes accessible through a dedicated space on the news feed -- titled Reels and Short Videos. However, just like regular posts, the visibility of these clips can be changed from public to friends or a select few people, Facebook said. 

The development comes as Facebook looks to position itself as the leader in India's short video segment – a title once held by the now-banned TikTok. Since the Indian government blocked TikTok over data privacy concerns, several local short video players, including Chingari, Mitron TV, Josh, Moj, and MX TakaTak, have cropped up to take its place.