Every day there is a new viral photo, video, tweet or article; our communication channels are so intertwined into our lives that it is easier than ever to share what we experience and relate to online content. In fact, even before we were spending all of our time at home, we were spending about three hours a day on social media, according to a 2019 report. With this fast-moving and evolving landscape of social media in mind, we take a look at the new class of platforms that present opportunity for brands and advertising professionals alike.
We all know the big major players: Facebook (#client), Instagram (#client), Youtube and Twitter. Most people are on at least one of these platforms, and it’s likely that you’re probably on all four. The next tier is slightly less mainstream, but still part of our vernacular: TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit and so on. In the past few months, there has been a major shift towards video content, which has allowed more emerging platforms to the forefront of the internet. Now, this is where we see the viral trends starting, and then trickling out to other social media platforms.
Let’s talk Reels, Instagram’s newest in a long line of features. Often compared to TikTok, Reels lets users create short videos—up to 15 seconds—using multiple clips, with the option of adding a music track to it. Which means that Instagram now allows users three types of videos to play in: a Reel (up to 15 seconds) a grid post (up to 60 seconds) and an IGTV post (up to 60 minutes).
An interesting benefit of Reels from both a creator and brand perspective is the way that the videos fall into the Instagram algorithm; users can choose to post to Reels or to post to both Reels and their feed. When posting to Reels, Instagram will only serve your video to users on the discover page. However, If you post to feed, your Reel will show up in your followers scroll as well as in the discover page, providing more opportunity to reach both existing and new audiences. Even smaller or more up-and-coming creators are getting millions of views on their content. For example, creator Vienna Skye, with a following of 60K, got 2.3 million plays on her very first Reel post.