Instagram has recently launched Reels, its answer to TikTok, just as brands including Gucci, Balmain, Balenciaga and Dior had begun to experiment with Tik Tok’s short form videos. Fashion brands, as Vogue business reports, now have to face a choice, similar to when Instagram launched Stories, as its answer to Snapchat: should they create original content for both, duplicate TikTok content, or forgot one platform altogether? Instagram users are mostly between 18 and 34, while TikTok’s audience is largely younger than 18. Reels has been criticised as a copycat feature, but it could hold massive potential for fashion brands, which have only started to warm up to TikTok. Reels’s reach could attract the attention of popular influencers and shift brand priorities back to Instagram. Instagram Reels lets users create and share 15-second videos; users can enhance them with music, augmented reality or by splicing clips together. Instagram has expanded it to 50 countries, including the US, UK, Japan and Australia, after testing it in Germany, France, India and Brazil. For brands or users hesitant to invest in Tik Tok, or creators anxious that they will lose their audience, Reels offers a potential safety net. It also offers a more robust advertising and commerce infrastructure — including analytics — to brands, and it’s more familiar to marketers.
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