Social Media Showdown: Meta’s Reels Challenges TikTok’s Crown

Today, we’ve got two fierce fighters on our hands. In one corner of the ring, we have the viral sensation, TikTok. And in the other corner, the mighty challenger, Meta’s Reels. Which platform will come out on top in this match of short-form video supremacy? 

Once upon a time, the answer was as clear as day; TikTok. But now, things are getting a whole lot more interesting. Let the battle begin!

TikTok: The Viral Heavyweight
Girl filming Tik Tok

TikTok entered the scene with a bang, proving that it can deliver a knockout punch when it comes to viral content, especially among the younger crowd. It has a huge user base and lets creators make up to 10-minute-long videos, perfect for those who fancy a bit of storytelling in their content.

The platform has a rich library of sounds, allows for duets and stitches, and you can upload pre-recorded videos. But the pièce de résistance? You get a massive 2,200 characters for your video descriptions, enough to make Shakespeare blush.

And let’s not forget TikTok’s focus on trends. Whether it’s a viral CapCut video template, celebrity mashups, a new hit song or a popular hashtag, TikTok is no stranger to trends.

Instagram Reels: The Agile Contender
instagram reels

Not to be underestimated, Instagram Reels brings some pretty nifty moves to the table. With an existing and engaged community, Reels allows creators to tap into Instagram’s user base. 

Reels are a bit more concise, with a maximum video length of 90 seconds, but brevity is the soul of wit, right? Besides, it has unique features like Collab, and its audio options, though somewhat limited, still offer a pretty decent variety.

Although TikTok boasts higher median engagement rates, Reels reign supreme in terms of median reach, median interactions and median video views. 

The Rise of the Reel

Just a few years back in 2020, when Meta introduced Reels, the world reacted with a collective ‘meh.’ It seemed like another desperate attempt to clone the soaring success of the viral video app, TikTok. Yet today, we’re watching the underdog grow its puppy teeth, biting into TikTok’s market share with determination.

The rapid increase in Reels users, advertisers, and revenue has thrown the casual bystander into a spin. 

The Power of Algorithms

Let’s talk about how Meta’s algorithm is taking Instagram Reels to a whole new level. You know those irresistible Reels that pop up on your feed and have you hooked in seconds? Well, it’s all thanks to Meta’s genius discovery engines! Justin Osofsky, the mastermind behind Meta’s online sales, operations, and partnerships, spilled the beans on how they show us Reels that we’re super interested in. It’s like they’re our personal video DJs, delivering only the juiciest content just for us!

Meta has been investing in AI for years, but now it’s taking center stage. They’re using their advanced algorithms to supercharge content recommendations and ads across their platforms. 

And let’s not forget the sheer numbers—daily Reels plays on Facebook, and Instagram have sky-rocketed from 140 billion last fall to a whopping 200 billion.

Show Me the Money!
Increased Sales

Let’s get down to business, the green kind, that is. The annual revenue of Reels has experienced a meteoric rise. From $1 billion in summer 2021 to $3 billion last autumn, and then leaping to $10 billion. Now that’s what you call an impressive trajectory.

What does this mean? It’s getting real in the Reel world! Reels has nearly matched TikTok’s estimated 2021 revenue, making Meta’s feature practically as big as TikTok’s business.

Brands Using Reels to Their Advantage

Advertisers are flocking to the Reels platform like seagulls to a beach picnic. 

But here’s the thing. When you glance at Instagram ads on a global scale, a measly 11% are Reels placements. Yet, they’ve got a hold on the hearts of brands, with a staggering 87% of them using Instagram Reels for ad placements, at least once in the fiery Q2 of 2023. That’s a year-over-year increase of 26%! 

What’s more, is that Reels’ usage has skyrocketed by an eye-popping 86% compared to the same time last year. Around 90% of brands couldn’t resist the charm and posted at least one Reel in Q2 of this year.

Does it Reel-y Matter? Advertising With Reels
Business Growth

Absolutely! While TikTok continues to lead in users’ time spent on the app, Reels’ swift ascend reveals Meta as a formidable contender. As the popular saying goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If that’s the case, Meta has not only flattered TikTok but also given it a serious run for its money.

Instagram Reels has emerged as a powerful advertising platform, attracting both users and advertisers alike. Unlike TikTok, which is known for its explosive but sometimes unpredictable virality, advertisers seem to prefer Reels for its more stable and predictable performance. 

Digital Marketing Experts have pointed out that some advertisers might not have the resources to constantly keep up with TikTok’s rapidly changing trends, making them lean towards Reels, which offer more reliable and long-term growth potential.

The success of Reels is reflected in the growing number of advertisers using the format. A whopping three-quarters of Meta’s advertisers are now investing in ads on Reels. But they aren’t just timidly dipping their toes into these waters. They are diving headfirst into the glittery ocean of Reels, hoping to find a treasure chest of profit at the bottom.

Instagram Reels’ growth can be attributed not only to its popularity among users but also to Meta’s efforts to promote the format heavily within its app. Reels are prominently featured, making it hard for users to avoid them when using Instagram. This increased visibility and promotion have contributed to the format’s significant growth.

From a marketer’s perspective, Reels also boast impressive engagement rates. In 2023, Reels scored an average engagement rate of 1.23%, making them the best-performing content type on Instagram. Integrating Reels into an Instagram posting strategy can increase the chances of deeper audience connections, leading to brand loyalty and potentially driving more sales and business growth.

Reel In The Wins with First Page

The question remains: will Reels manage to ‘reel’ in TikTok completely? Or will it merely dance to the same tune? Only time will tell. But until then, we’re eagerly watching this Reel-y exciting showdown!

With the growing popularity of Reels though, there’s no better time than now to dive into this fun and engaging format.

Share your brand’s personality, behind-the-scenes moments, and playful content that resonates with your followers. It’s a chance to add some spice to your marketing mix and win over new fans!

With so much potential exposure for your brand, it would be a no-brainer to capitalize on this shift and make use of Meta advertising too.

So, how do you get started? That’s where First Page comes in! We’re your go-to marketing agency, ready to help you navigate the world of Instagram and create ads that leave your audience wanting more. 

Contact us today!

Contact First Page US