Her concerns are shared by many, who are wondering where to put their efforts. Ezza is re-sharing her previous TikTok uploads while she tests out Reels. She said: “At the moment I’m using some of the same videos I’ve shared on TikTok as I’m used to the format there. I’m also enjoying trying different things and concepts to keep my followers engaged.”
While it may feel easier to have all your content in one place (Instagram allows us grid posts, longer video on IGTV, short clips on stories, live broadcasting and now Reels,) TikTok has such a global following that ditching it in favour of a new app will be a hard sell to those who have found a fanbase on TikTok.
Others are already moving on from TikTok onto platforms such as Dubsmash, the original app for dancers, Triller and Byte. In fact, Instagram have admitted that 45% of recent content uploaded are videos of 15 seconds or less which shows the trend that people are re-sharing their TikToks on Insta.
For Sakina one of the biggest considerations is quality. She said: “For Reels to overtake TikTok they definitely need to up their game in regards to their features. However I don’t think Reels will overtake as many users on TikTok don’t have Instagram accounts.”
Shanel is enjoying the content she’s finding on Reels and believes that if the quality continues, the function will gain in popularity. She said: “The content that I have really appreciated are the Beauty Reels. It’s refreshing to view short videos that teach you a new beauty hack. I’ve also enjoyed the funny Reels, I love a bit of comedy on my news feed!” She’s not convinced there will be any ‘taking over’ involved: “I don’t think Reels will replace TikTok, just like IGTV hasn’t replaced YouTube.”
Initial feedback by users in its first fortnight is not to abandon TikTok and not to go full steam ahead into Reels either. Instead, dabble in both and see how the audience and tech change and develop over time. Though with TikTok banned in India and the US considering doing the same, for those who are addicted to watching and creating TikTok but no longer can, Reels couldn’t have come at a better time, as Ezza explains: “Reels came out at a perfect time. With TikTok banned in India and also being considered for a ban in other countries, people are instantly using the Reels feature. But question is, will they return to TikTok if and when the ban is lifted?”
For Islah, he’s witnesses social media apps come and go and believes nothing is safe: “I think time will tell. TikTok has loyal lockdown users. But history may repeat itself, look at what happened to Vine!”
Fancy giving Reels a go? Here are some words of advice from Sakina: “Just be confident. Don’t overthink it too much or try to copy what others are doing because then you’ll just be stuck at what to do. Make your videos different. Make them quirky. Start with any type of content whether that’s styling or cleaning tips. The key point to remember is to be unique and to share what you love – it’s your Reel video so you can post anything.”