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February 24, 2022

Facebook Reels must think outside the box to beat TikTok

The expansion of Facebook Reels to more than 150 countries signals Meta’s intent to create a global video sharing platform, taking on TikTok. However, Meta needs a bolder counterattack to adequately challenge its fast-growing archrival.

Facebook Reels has become Meta’s fastest-growing content platform, outpacing both Instagram and Facebook, despite being available in a handful of countries up until now. This is significant given that Facebook and Instagram generate tens of billions of dollars per year in revenues for Meta with global average revenue per user (ARPU) increasing sequentially and YoY. Both platforms are also increasing in daily active users (DAUs) and monthly active users (MAUs).

Meta aims to lure creators

In the coming months, Meta will start to expand its Reels Play bonus program, a $1 billion investment fund offering creators the opportunity to earn up to $35,000 a month. Increasing the monetization opportunities is a key strategy Meta is employing to migrate content creators, and thus users, from competing video sharing content platforms. The company has launched several tools to help creators with monetizing their content, including in-stream ads, ad revenue share, fan support, and Stars (a system where users buy stars and gift them to their favorite creators, essentially creating a reviewing system).

However, these moves alone aren’t enough for Facebook Reels to catch up to TikTok’s explosive growth and to encourage creators and users on other platforms to switch to Reels.

Facebook Reels needs more differentiation

The first step Meta should take is to rename Facebook Reels into Reels and turn it into its own standalone platform. By doing so, the company will aid the success of Facebook Reels by distancing its fastest-growing fledgling service from the scandals and controversy haunting Facebook.

 Although Facebook Reels would lose the deep integration it currently enjoys with Facebook and Instagram, this should not stop Facebook Reels’ momentum. We need look no further than Instagram to know this. Instagram, although not integrated with Facebook like Facebook Reels is, is still a leading global social media platform.

Additionally, Meta should integrate Facebook Reels with is its Oculus Quest VR headsets to enhance the already extremely popular short-form video entertainment format with VR to provide a more personalized and immersive experience. This would also provide Meta with a cross-selling opportunity as Quest users might be more likely to engage with short-form video entertainment if experienced within VR.