This single update is perhaps the best summary of Meta’s innovation efforts in 2022. Yes, as you can see in this image posted by Radu Oncescu (and shared by Matt Navarra), Meta is adding yet another way for users to access Reels on Facebook sharing – even if they don’t have their own video content to upload to the app.

After TikTok’s explosive growth, Meta has been trying to get more users to share more short videos, capitalizing on the same trend and aligning their platforms with what he sees as a transformative usage shift.

To achieve this, Meta has added a host of tools and processes designed to both highlight short video clips in feeds and facilitate the simplified creation of short video content, with this latest iteration being the ultimate end of a such process.

Meta’s evolution throughout 2022 in this regard has effectively gone as follows:

“We also have a short video”

“We make short videos a priority”

“We’re adding short videos to the main feed of people and pages you don’t follow.”

“You really should try short videos for yourself”

‘For real’

“Please upload a short video”

“Seriously, we’ve made it so simple, you don’t even have to record video, we’ll do all the work for you”

Again, the option encapsulates everything Meta has been working on Facebook and Instagram all year, essentially using TikTok as a product development lead, and hoping that’s enough to slow down its users’ migration to the Chinese app.

Will it work?
Meta has repeatedly noted that the use of Reels is growing and continues to generate great traction, and there would be a significant percentage of Facebook and Instagram users who just wouldn’t want to download and create a new Social Graph app to view short video clips.

That’s really Reels’ target audience. Meta isn’t so much trying to beat TikTok as it is to undermine its unique value and keep users from leaving.

And if TikTok is eventually banned in the US, it would also become a successor, as Instagram has become, at least to some extent, in the Indian market. It makes sense, but TikTok has definitely done a lot of work for Meta’s product teams over the past 24 months.

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