Meta is adding a slew of new tools to Reels as it tries to keep up with TikTok. The updates include new editing features, longer uploads and the ability to push reels into Facebook feeds. The changes come as Meta has made competing one of its top priorities. Mark Zuckerberg has said that attracting younger users — who are increasingly spending more of their time on TikTok, not Meta-owned apps — is the company’s And that Reels will be “as important for our products as Stories.”
In keeping with that theme, Reels on Instagram are getting several features that have long been popular on Stories, including poll, emoji and quiz stickers, which have helped boost engagement with Stories over the years.
The app is also adding new editing tools that should give creators more flexibility in the types of videos they can create in the Instagram app. Notably, creators will be able to import their own audio, so they can add sounds from videos in their Camera Roll to their Reels.Instagram is also adding templates, to make it easier to riff on other creators’ videos. Finally, the app is expanding the maximum length of Reels to 90 seconds, which is nowhere near the videos TikTok recently announced, but is a significant bump from the previous 60-second limit.
Meta is refreshing Reels on Facebook as well. The company is adding separate editing tools for desktop, including video clipping features so creators can easily grab portions of live and other longer form videos and turn them into Reels. Facebook is also getting new scheduling and audio tools to more easily publish and edit reels from desktop.
Finally, Facebook will start pushing a lot more “suggested” Reels into users’ feeds. Reels will appear more often on Facebook, similar to how Reels have slowly been taking over Instagram’s feed in recent months. The company will also prompt Instagram creators to start cross-posting their Reels to Facebook.