Is Meta Copying Tiktok? If Yes, is this Zuckerberg’s Cry for Help?
Meta’s introduction of reels on Facebook is nothing but an attempt to stay relevant in the era of TikTok
If you look around the current social media platforms, you will find older people sharing posts and opinions on Facebook, now Meta, whereas young teenagers post short videos of dancing and songing and many more on platforms like TikTok. Yes, it is true that Facebook is gradually losing popularity among the newer generations.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, needs to stay relevant. While it boasts over 3.5 billion users a month across its Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms, its user base is aging, and it’s facing fierce competition from the short-form video platform TikTok, and its ad-targeting business model is confronting a painful disruption. What it focuses on next will determine its future and have an impact on the many people who rely on its products.
Rolling into the Reels
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has made the company’s long-term plan clear: It’s all-in on the metaverse, a virtual world where people can use augmented and virtual reality tech to interact with each other. But the metaverse for now is mostly a concept and will take almost five to ten years to build. In the meantime, Meta is putting its full force behind Reels, a short-form video product that looks a lot like TikTok and has gotten a lot less buzz than its big metaverse bet. That doesn’t mean Reels should be overlooked. On a recent earnings call, Zuckerberg mentioned Reels at least 20 times and listed it as his top key investment area for 2022, saying that it’s definitely the right thing to lean into this. The phenomenon of Reels needs to grow as quickly as possible! Maybe, that will help Meta’s falling market revenue.
So far, Meta’s push for Reels seems to be working, at least in terms of grabbing Facebook users’ attention. According to an exclusive analysis provided to Recode by the social internet think tank, the Integrity Institute, Reels have become so popular that more than half of the top 20 most-viewed posts across Facebook (the report does not include Instagram views) in the US last quarter were Reels that were originally posted on Instagram. Last quarter was the first that Reels have been on Facebook, so it makes sense that Reels are appearing for the first time on these charts, but it’s a big deal that they’re taking up this many of the highest-ranked posts. Still, there’s a caveat! A majority of the most-viewed Reels were shared by accounts that are anonymous or primarily aggregate and repost other creators’ content, like TikTok videos.