Meta has announced some new updates for Facebook Reels, including an expanded length limit, Memories integration and new trending Reels templates.
First off, on Reels length – your Facebook Reels can now be up to 90 seconds long, an additional 30 seconds on the previous limit.
Which somewhat rails against the ‘short’ element of ‘short form’ video, but then again, every app has been gradually expanding the length of their short-form offerings, in order to maximize usage and engagement.
For context, on TikTok, you can now upload videos up to 10 minutes long, while YouTube Shorts can be 60 seconds max.
Meta’s also integrating Memories into the mix, with a new option to ‘Share as Reel’ from your Memories prompt.
Which seems like a clever move. Millions of Facebook users share their Memories in the app every day, and by adding Reels as a distribution option, it could be an easy way to get more people engaging with the format, and checking out Reels in the app.
Meta’s also adding ‘Grooves’, which will automatically align your video with the beat of the music you choose.
TikTok has several similar options on this front, providing an easy way to make synched video clips, which can be both more engaging and better looking.
And finally, Meta’s expanding its Reels templates option to Facebook, which makes it easier to replicate trending video styles and formats.
Reels templates are already available on IG, with this new variation also highlighting specific, trending clips, which will give you more ways to tap into the latest styles.
While it may be a direct replica of TikTok, Reels has been huge for Meta, with Reels views across Facebook and Instagram more than doubling over the last year, and reshares of Reels also doubling, across both Facebook and Instagram, over the last six months.
Short-form video is the format of the moment, and it makes sense for Meta to double down on that where it can, while it could also, eventually, leave Meta well-placed to fill the void left by TikTok in the case of a ban of the app.
That’s what’s happened in India, where both Instagram and YouTube have gained significant traction in the wake of the TikTok ban in that nation.
The same could happen again, which would then make Meta’s Reels replicant approach look even more savvy, as opposed to lazy development strategy.
The new Facebook Reels tools are being rolled out to all users from today.