Meta Launches Short Video ‘Facebook Reels’ Feature

Watch out YouTube and TikTok? Facebook Reels has been launched in more than 150 countries to help content creators earn money

Meta is seeking to attract youngsters back to the Facebook platform with the global launch of its short video feature called Facebook Reels.

Meta announced that Facebook Reels will be available in more than 150 countries, on iOS and Android platforms. Meta also said it is “introducing better ways to help creators to earn money, new creation tools and more places to watch and create Facebook Reels.”

It comes as Meta faces a growing number of challenges. Earlier this month Facebook revealed a decline for the first time ever, of its daily active users, when it posted weaker than expected quarterly results.

Facebook Reels

Tough challenges

Facebook is facing increased competition from the likes of TikTok and YouTube grabbing user (particularly youth) attention, as well as a squeeze of advertising revenue, as Apple’s privacy changes start to impact the platform.

Indeed, Meta’s chief financial officer, Dave Wehner, revealed this month that the impact of Apple’s privacy changes could be “in the order of $10 billion” for 2022.

So Facebook is facing a big hit to its finances from Apple’s privacy change, coupled with increased competition, and declining user attention.

This is especially the case with the youth market, which for years has tended to favour other social platforms.

This has resulted in Meta recently losing a third of its market value, with its market capitalisation now at $550 billion, after its share price fell from $323.08 before its financial results, to its current trading price of $202.08.

Facebook Reels

This is the tough situation greeting the launch of Meta’s short video feature called Facebook Reels, which the platform hopes will expand its fastest growing content format and take the fight to the likes of TikTok and YouTube.

“Reels is already our fastest growing content format by far, and today we’re making it available to everyone on Facebook globally, said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“We want Reels to be the best place for creators to connect with their community and make a living, so we’re launching new monetization tools too. More details in the comments.”

The platform says video now accounts for half of the time people spend on Facebook, and it also announced new ways for creators to make money through the Reels feature.

“We’re creating a variety of opportunities for creators to earn money for their reels,” the platform stated. “Our Reels Play bonus program, part of our $1 billion creator investment, pays eligible creators up to $35,000 a month based on the views of their qualifying reels.”

“In the coming months, we’ll expand the bonus program to more countries, so more creators can get rewarded for creating reels that their communities love,” it added.

It said it was testing overlay ads using banners and stickers for creators to earn ad revenue. It would roll out full-screen ads between Reels soon.