YouTube Ups its Social Profile with the Debut of Reels Feature

YouTube has debuted Reels, a video feature similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Users will find Reels on a new tab in creators’ channels and will be able to adorn videos with filters, text and stickers. Unlike Snapchat and Instagram Stories, a single creator can make many Reels on different topics and the videos will not disappear after 24 hours. With Reels, Google hopes to make YouTube a more social environment and keep users glued to the platform. Google reportedly bid $30 billion to buy Snap last year.

Business Insider reports what Reels will bring to YouTube. Because Reels is another way for users to communicate with each other, it makes YouTube more of a social platform. It’s also “an easy way for creators to keep their subscribers engaged,” because “creators producing longer-term projects can quickly post Reels to update subscribers on their progress” and “use Reels to keep their subscribers engaged between posts of longer-form videos.”

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Reels can also “represent additional ad inventory,” both for YouTube and video creators, and a way for brands to advertise products. If YouTube creators “specialize in creating different Reels as short-form series, rather than merely quick updates,” this could “keep users on the platform” and “further differentiate Reels from Snapchat and Instagram Stories.”

Variety reports that Reels is currently in beta, letting users post videos of up to 30-seconds. According to YouTube senior product manager Roy Livne, Reels can “include links to longer YouTube videos,” among its other features and is “part of an update to the social-media-style features in the Community tab,” which was debuted a year ago for creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.