Meta launches 90 second Reels on Facebook, adds new features

by | Mar 7, 2023 | News

The short form content market entered a new phase this week with news that Meta is now supporting Facebook Reels of up to 90 seconds in length. Until now, Facebook Reels have been limited to 60 seconds. The changes bring Facebook into line with Meta’s other social media platform Instagram, which added 90 second Reels last year.

In addition to increased length, Meta is also introducing tools for Facebook creators that are already active on Instagram Reels. These include a new trending ‘templates’ feature that lets users create Reels that copy the structure of Reels they’ve just watched.
Other features that will undoubtedly appeal to Facebook creators include ‘grooves’ – the ability to sync a video’s movement to the beat of a song through visual beat technology. This is already possible on Instagram and is a popular element of TikTok’s appeal. Meta says it will also be possible for users to make ready-made reels from their memories.

Reels has been a key development in Meta’s bid to combat the rapid growth of TikTok and YouTube’s popular Shorts format. Initially, it was viewed as best suited to short form platform Instagram, but Meta has found that users are enjoying cross-posting Reels between Insta and Facebook. In late 2022, Meta said over 140 billion Reels are played daily across the platform, with annual revenues hitting the $3bn mark.

The short form video market has been the subject of intense interest since the start of 2023, with YouTube Shorts recently switching on its creator monetisation programme. TikTok is still viewed as the one to beat, with analyst OMDIA recently predicting that the platform would control 37% of the online video advertising market by 2027. There are, however, ongoing concerns about TikTok’s links with the Chinese government, with a powerful US lobby agitating to ban the platform. If that happened, then Meta and Google-owned YouTube would be best placed to fill the resulting vacuum.

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