Instagram’s latest feature is strongly reminiscent of Tiktok. Can it keep up? And what opportunities does it offer companies and influencers?
The social media platform Instagram is known for constantly implementing new features to make the app experience even more interesting and exciting for users. It is nothing new that the ideas for new tools do not always come directly from the platform itself, but that the creators like to be inspired by other social media platforms. From the Instagram story, which was then copied from Snapchat and focused on influencer marketing, to the latest feature that was only recently launched: Reels.
This function is very reminiscent of the Tiktok platform, which is particularly popular with the young generation. But can Reels keep up with it and what opportunities does the new feature offer in the context of influencer marketing for companies and influencers?
Opportunities for influencers and influencer marketing
One group above all benefits from creative changes or further developments on the social media platforms: the influencers. Most of its professional focus is on Instagram – exactly where Reels has now been introduced.
Similar to Tiktok, influencers can use Reels to live creatively and try out a different type of content. Especially in times when authenticity is more important than ever before for influencers, this new possibility helps to present yourself more directly to your followers. The trend here is moving away from very high quality, frequently asked videos, towards much looser clips, which show the influencers from another side.
Reels has the advantage for followers that they do not have to leave Instagram as a platform to switch to another, for example Tiktok. For the influencers, this means that they don’t have to build a whole new community on a new channel. As part of the growth of Tiktok, it finally became apparent that many followers did not make the jump to Tiktok with their influencers – or did not want to make it.
Larger influencers can also use their very high reach with the help of Reels to go viral through the newly introduced top Reels page and generate additional followers. For small influencers, this site offers the opportunity to grow quickly and draw attention to itself in order to build a community. It is also possible that the feature, similar to Tiktok, will also create a completely new type of influencer on Instagram, which can enter a completely new niche through funny or particularly creative clips.
Opportunities for companies
Companies in turn have the opportunity to show themselves much fresher, more dynamic and more modern through Reels. Thanks to the varied content, you can play content here that might not find a place on your account or in your story.
Another advantage is that they can work with their existing network on Instagram – and thus also on Reels. On the Instagram companies’ page the followers gathered exactly the people who are already interested in the products or services. If you switch to a different platform, companies run the risk of losing many of them. In addition, many companies are still quite skeptical about Tiktok. This is mainly due to the very young target group. For those companies that appeal to a different target group, Reels is a good way of not having to leave the known followers, but at the same time being able to show yourself from another side through the clips.
Just like with influencers, companies can also benefit from the top Reels page. If they go viral there, they have the chance to draw even more people’s attention to themselves or their products or services and to win them over to their own brand.
The relevance of Reels for social media marketing
If you look at Reels as a whole, it quickly becomes clear that Instagram’s new feature has a lot of potential and above all a very high relevance. This may be the beginning of an effect similar to that of the introduction of Instagram Stories a few years ago: After Instagram had more or less taken the format from Snapchat, Snapchat itself took a back seat. Tiktok could face similar threats.
Although nothing has been announced yet, it will probably not be long before Reels introduces the ability to add links to corporate accounts. This opens up a completely new form of advertising, which could be a big competitor for Tiktok. It is not yet possible to insert links there, which is why it has not yet been used very much as an advertising platform.
Unless Tiktok thinks up anything new or acts in front of Reels in the context of advertising opportunities, it is very possible that Reels will replace Tiktok before Bytedance’s app could become really big in terms of influencer marketing.