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Is Instagram Reels a game changer?

Sameer Makani, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Makani Creatives, writes how the video platform could fill the void left by TikTok

Sameer Makani

The world is changing as we speak; the global pandemic has in fact changed the way we live now. The imposed lockdown restricted mobility of people due to which they were under house arrest and were only allowed to step outside when they needed something essential. While this ignited the trend of ‘Work From Home,’ it also gave a boost to internet consumption at home. People were consuming audio and video content like never before. This is when apps like Instagram, TikTok, Likee, Helo, YouTube and other platforms took the centre stage in terms of usage. These platforms were flooded with content which one can consume in their free time to get themselves entertained.

Among these, TikTok, a short-video platform, was bloated with content that was consumed by people across the country, including the tier III and tier IV regions because of the popularity and functionality of the app. This gave marketers an opportunity to move beyond the conventional marketing spectrum and establish brand communication in the remote areas in some or the other way. Very recently, the government banned 59 Chinese-origin apps, citing threat to national security. Overnight, platforms such as TikTok were disabled. While it made creators shift to other platforms to showcase their content, it also gave rise to some home-grown platforms to emerge as an alternative to TikTok.

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Similarly, Instagram rolled out ‘Reels’ that allows users to shoot video, add filters and music which is available from Instagram's catalogue and share it beyond the platform, similar to TikTok.  Although these home-grown platforms are equipping themselves with best of the layout and functionality, none can match the overall infrastructure created by Instagram yet. This is where a feature like this could give an upper hand to Instagram owing to the platform preference. Instagram has successfully managed to appeal to broader section of Indian market as people can share photos and videos easily on Instagram. With Reels, the public accounts can now be freely discovered on Instagram in an ecosystem that is powerful.

Instagram has always encouraged brands to humanise themselves on the platform and post organically. This enables users to discover and learn about the brand as to why and how they exist and what goes in their products. With the feature, Instagram has created a full-fledged eco-system for brands and creators that can be utilised to promote content/product in an interconnected manner. The ‘Reels’ feature from Instagram could potentially change the demographics of Instagram. TikTok had a mix bag of creators from across the country, especially tier III, tier IV cities, and even parts of remote areas of the country. It would be aspirational to say but a feature like this could potentially widen the user base in these remote cities as well, which in turn will bring more opportunities to marketers to reach out to unconventional influencers in these regions and giving a voice to individual creators.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of BestMediaInfo.com and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

 

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