While Facebook is no longer the only innovative app, especially among younger audiences, it remains a platform for many users, and its capacity to keep people updated on necessary updates from friends and family is likely to ensure that many continue to return to the app every day for some time.

Facebook usage is increasing, according to internal insights viewed by The Wall Street Journal, which also include some interesting notes on overall Facebook and Instagram usage trends. It seems unusual, given the subsequent rise of TikTok and short-form video more generally. Facebook successfully utilizes the short-form video trend to drive more usage – despite much criticism of the platform copycat Reels feature. Indeed, Reel consumption is up 20% and has become a key element in Meta resurgence. 

How is it finding success? 

Increased investment in AI has driven improvements in the relevance models that fuel Reels and its ads, which drives better response.

On Reels, Meta systems are getting much better at showing users the Reels content that is most likely to be interesting. You have likely noticed this yourself, a random clip inserted into your Facebook feed has become more focused. You probably find yourself exploring a Reels clip now and then.

Reels have been too successful:

“Because ads in Reels videos don’t currently sell for as much as those sold against regular posts and stories, Reels’ growing share of content consumption was denting ad revenue. To protect the company’s earnings, the company cut back on promoting Reels, which lowered watch time by 12%.”

So again, while Meta is criticized for stealing TikTok’s format, it is again shown, just as it did with Stories, that this is a viable and beneficial pathway to keeping users engaged in its apps. You might not like it, but replication works in this respect. But for marketers, it is likely to development of Meta AI targeting tools for ads that are of most interest.


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