Instagram will no longer promote recycled TikToks on its TikTok clone

Algorithms will watch out for watermarks that make 'the Reels experience less satisfying.'

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Instagram Reels is displayed on a mobile phone on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 in New York.  Facebook's Instagram is officially launching its answer to the hit short video app TikTok — Instagram Reels. The new Instagram feature will let users record and edit 15-second videos with audio, and will let users add visual effects. Users will be able to share Reels with followers in Instagram in a dedicated section called Reels in Explore, or in the Story feature where posts disappear after 24 hours.  (AP Photo/Tali Arbel)
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In its latest set of best practices for Reels, Instagram is urging users not to repost videos from elsewhere — essentially telling its community not to recycle videos from TikTok. If you do share videos that you rip from TikTok, your followers will still see them in their feeds. However, Instagram’s algorithms will be on the lookout for TikTok watermarks and it won't promote those videos to people who don't already follow you.

"[We’ve heard] that low video quality reels (i.e. blurry due to low resolution) or content that is visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contains logos or watermarks) makes the Reels experience less satisfying," the service wrote in a post on the Creators account. "So, we’re making this content less discoverable in places like the Reels tab."

It's a good move from at least one perspective: it will discourage people from reposting other folks' TikTok videos on Reels for clout. If you have used Reels, it probably didn't take long before you saw videos with a TikTok logo in the corner, so it makes sense that Instagram wouldn't want to act as a shop window for a rival platform. However, the move might make things a little more time consuming for people who post videos on both apps.

Alongside the list of "don'ts" (which also include suggestions to refrain from posting videos with borders around them or ones that are mostly covered up with text), Instagram offered some guidance on how to create successful Reels. It suggests sharing vertical videos and using music you create yourself or original audio from other Reels. Otherwise, you can use music from Instagram’s library. The rest of the tips are more nebulous, such as creating entertaining or fun content, or starting a trend in which other people can take part. Easy peasy. 

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