Meta Adds New Creative Tools, Features for Facebook Reels

Meta Platforms announced today that it is introducing new creative tools and features for Facebook Reels, including support for videos of up to 90 seconds, extending the previous maximum of 60 seconds. The updates arrive a few months after the company unveiled support for Instagram Reels of the same duration (news that followed TikTok’s jump in video length from three to 10 minutes in an attempt to more directly take on Google’s YouTube). Among the new creative tools include the ability to create Reels with trending templates and a “Grooves” feature that automatically syncs video to the beat of a song.

The template feature, similar to an option that is offered by TikTok, was also added to Instagram Reels in 2022. And the Grooves feature uses a visual beat technology that’s been a part of Instagram already.

“Syncing video to sounds has been a defining characteristic of TikTok,” reports TechCrunch, “so it’s no surprise that Meta is bringing it to Facebook Reels after rolling it out for Instagram Reels last year.”

“Facebook launched Reels last year in a move that was seen as a key part of Meta’s response to the TikTok threat,” notes TechCrunch. “Although Meta initially saw Reels as a way to directly combat TikTok with a feature inside the Instagram app, the company soon realized it could mount a more powerful counteroffensive if it also brought Facebook into the mix and allowed for cross-posting between the two social networks.”

According to Meta, Reels is now the company’s fasted growing format and plays have more than doubled over the last year, while reshares of Reels have more than doubled in the last six months.

“Previously, Meta reported Facebook and Instagram users were playing more than 140 billion Reels per day,” notes Fierce Video. “Still, [CEO Mark] Zuckerberg stressed Reels aren’t generating as much revenue as other services across Meta’s sites, such as the News Feed.”

How Meta Brought AV1 to Reels, Meta Engineering, 2/21/23
Meta Announces Initial Test of ‘Meta Verified’ Paid Verification Scheme on Facebook and IG, Social Media Today, 2/19/23
TikTok’s Potential Ban in U.S. Could Be Boon for Meta and Snap, CNBC, 3/1/23

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