Social Media Portal: Reels, TikTok developments & a big week for music rights



Research & Reports

  • Facebook’s monthly active users are up 12% this year, topping 2.7 million. How many of those users are on Facebook daily? 1.79 billion.
  • TikTok emerges as an outlet for political action: according to a new report from Reach3Insights, exposure to social activism posts on TikTok has driven Gen Z engage in discussions with family and friends (54%); sign petitions (44%); and educate themselves further because of something they saw on the platform (32%).

Introducing: Reels

Timed perfectly to capitalize on doubt over the future of TikTok in the US, Facebook launched a new feature on Instagram this week that mimics TikTok in look and feel. Here are all the most important points to bring you up to speed on Reels:
  • Reels is built into the Instagram Camera: a new “Reels” option at the bottom of the camera mode brings up the editing tools.
  • You can create new content with the editor, or upload existing content from your camera roll.
  • Like IGTV videos, Reels have cover photos, captions and hashtags to grow visibility.
  • Videos must be between 3 and 15 seconds, and are in the 9:16 (Story) format only.
  • Reels can be published to Stories (will disappear in 24 hours), published to your feed or sent as a DM. They will also appear in the “Explore” tab indefinitely
  • Reels are also discovered on your account page, under a new “Reels” tab next to the feed and IGTV.
  • Editing tools include over 1,000 augmented reality effects, a countdown timer, stickers, and a rights-cleared music catalogue.
  • The music catalogue is not available for Business Accounts at the moment – only personal accounts. The exception is the Business Accounts which previously had access to the music sticker in Stories.
  • Audio that you upload to Reels has an option to be used by others.
  • Instagram has heavily recruited creators to make Reels while the feature was in beta.
  • The branded content tool does not extend to Reels at this time, and Reels cannot be boosted or promoted.
  • Views and comments will be available metrics for Reels. Reels Insights won’t be included in the main IG Insights tab yet, but will be soon.
As we get familiar with Reels, here are some ideas for our series: Post Reels of iconic, highly quotable, or meme-worthy scenes from your series or films; or repurpose behind-the-scenes content and other exclusive footage that’s been produced previously.
Helpful articles/guides about Reels:

Instagram Reels Launches Globally in over 50 countries, including US (TechCrunch)

Reels Help Center

WGBH Highlight

Current featured WGBH’s work in emerging platforms in an article this week about public media accounts producing educational videos on TikTok.

Public Media Highlight

This week is my last installment on lessons from the PBS NewsHour Q&A back in June. This roundup is all about the YouTube features NewsHour colleagues highlighted, including:
  • YouTube Polls: Audiences are highly engaged in polls on YouTube. You can link out to the fuller story right on the poll.
  • YouTube Stories: NewsHour has seen incredible reach and views by using YouTube Stories. For example, Stories have driven 10,000 new subscribers to their YouTube channel in less than three weeks. NewsHour uses Stories to promote live streams, and to drive attention to YouTube videos series like Brief but Spectacular. YouTube Stories allow you to link back directly to a video, but only one time per week. Even though YouTube allows Stories to stay up for up to one week, NewsHour expires Stories after 48 hours so they can do multiple Stories in a week. The team is aiming for three per week.
That’s everything I learned during the jam-packed NewsHour Q&A! If you missed previous editions, then catch up with knowledge on Twitter threads, Instagram growth hacks and more in the full Q&A recording.

Platform Updates

Weekend Read

The modern dilemma of TikTok journalism (CJR)



Article by: Tory Starr

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