If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram and thought, “hmmm, this app would be so much better if it was just a little bit more like TikTok,” then oh boy, do I have good news for you.
In a video posted to their Facebook page on July 16, Meta announced a few changes that will continue to push the app toward becoming its biggest competitor, TikTok. The changes include being able to use the “Add Yours” stickers on Reels for Instagram and Facebook; making more insights and data available for Facebook Reels creators; releasing a new way for creators to make money on Facebook Reels; the ability to remix Reels on both platforms; crossposting your Instagram Reels onto Facebook; and making it easier to turn your Facebook memories and stories into Facebook Reels.
We’ve seen plenty of these changes go into effect in one way or another on Meta platforms. Last year, Instagram rolled out “Add Yours” prompt stickers to Stories, which allows users to respond to other users’ Stories by following a prompt; now you can do that for Reels, too. The Stories prompt brought us such (boring) hits as “we’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture” and “show us your name in Urban Dictionary.” This tracks as a way for Instagram to continue to prioritize Reels, its short-form video feature designed to take over the app.
Meta also announced a new way creators can make money on Facebook Reels called “Stars,” which are virtual items that fans can give to creators to express support — basically like a tip jar for videos. Users can cross-post their Reels from Instagram to Facebook through the app, the same way you can with Stories right now. Double the content. And Meta launched auto-created Facebook Reels compiles from your previously shared Facebook Stories, and a new Facebook Reels insights in Creator Studio which helps creators see which Reels are performing well.
All of these changes come as no surprise to anyone who’s paid any attention to the way Meta — and particularly Instagram — has been morphing over the past few weeks. Recently, the app started testing out a version of Instagram that included a full-screen feed, a pivot to video, and an increase of recommended posts. It looked like TikTok, but bad. It received an avalanche of criticism from some of the platform’s most powerful users and was forced to temporarily walk back a few of the changes. But the pivot to video is inevitable, it seems.