Many of you may be rolling your eyes saying, “Who cares?” While the rest of you are intrigued since you are probably among the masses who jumped on TikTok during the quarantine period to entertain yourself after finishing ALL OF NETFLIX. Now we have Reels to test drive. Aren’t global pandemics useful?

TikTok has been in the news A LOT lately with the announcement of Trump threatening to ban TiKTock in the US and telling Microsoft they have a month to buy the US division of TikTok and all kinds of other craziness. Picturing Microsoft users getting on TikTok is amusing in itself. Perhaps the RickRoll will make a comeback after all.  I believe Twitter is now also in talks to purchase TikTok which worries me since Twitter bought Vine before that shriveled …on the vine, I’m not so sure that will go well either. While all the talks and bidding wars go on, Instagram rolled out Reels. Most people had no idea though since it seems to be a feature that is buried inside of stories.

Instagram Reels

Reels has been available for quite a while in other countries, but it began rolling out August 5th, in the U.S. Since I have been one those “over 40” (ok… over 50!) moms who are cluttering up TikTok with our SAVAGE moves and the Cannibal Dance. I thought I’d check out Reels over the weekend. I was sadly unimpressed. I really was hoping it would be more of a copycat app with the fun comedy and dance memes, but it reminded me more of… VINE.

Here are a few of the main points on each so you can consider where to waste… I mean, spend more of your time. Don’t get me wrong, I do see some amazing ways to use these apps for a brand, but it will take some time to sift through all of the 16-year-old dance videos and lots of creativity to create content that is worth sifting for.

TIKTOK:

  • Launched in 2018 and already has over 2.5 billion downloads in the app store—almost a billion users worldwide and 100 million in the U.S. as of August 2020.
  • More users spending more time on TikTok than on Instagram!
  • 60-second videos
  • Mostly entertainment- funny and fashion-oriented video challenges
  • You can view TikTok videos without having an account
  • Standalone app

REELS:

  • Launched August 5th in the U.S.
  • 15-second videos
  • Must have an Instagram account to view
  • If you follow someone’s Reels you will also be following their Instagram feed
  • It is mixed in with Instagram’s main app causing a bit of confusion and clutter with stories, IGTV, and the regular feed all mixed in with Reels
  • More augmented reality filters (aka-deer face and sparkles spinning around your face to mask wrinkles and puffy eyes)
    Instagram Reels versus TikTok

So after week one (and just two videos posted to Reels), I am not seeing much to get excited about yet. I’m sure there will be more features that get rolled out and perhaps it will take a few months for us “older folks” to find out about Reels since it’s buried within so many other Instagram features. Just look at the success (or lack thereof) IGTV has had. It was supposed to rival YouTube and I’ve never met someone outside of those in marketing who understand what it is, how to find it, or how to use it.

TikTok versus Instagram Reels

As popular as TikTok is, it will take a lot for Reels to snag market share. But then again, if TikTok gets snapped up by Microsoft and they blend it with LinkedIn (also owned by Microsoft), Reels could have a fighting chance. I’d better start practicing my SAVAGE moves for Reels now.

Like any new app, I suggest people get on there, poke around and watch a few videos or 87 hours of them (which is what will happen when you first get on TikTok) to see where your brand can find a space to fit in. It feels kind of like a junior high dance… stand against the wall looking awkward. Have a few of the mean girls tell you how old fat and uncoordinated you are and then throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care.

via GIPHY

I’d love to know your thoughts or questions. Let us know if you are creating any Reels or if you find any super creative accounts we can all check out.

@GinaSchreck (on Reels)

Prefer video? Click here for REEL tips from SocialKNX CEO, Gina Schreck!