It looks like Meta truly is making a big push for Reels. Social media consultant Matt Navarra has posted a screenshot on Twitter showing a notice for an experimental Instagram feature that says all video posts would be shared as Reels on the app. If your account is public, that means anyone can discover your video and use your original audio to create their own Reel. Only friends would see your video if your profile is private, but other users can still create a remix with your Reel and download it as part of their remix. The only way to ensure nobody uses your Reel for remixes is to turn the option off in Settings or to disable it for each video you post.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 30, 2022
As TechCrunch notes, this move doesn't come as a surprise when the TikTok-style videos have quickly become a popular format on both Instagram and Facebook. When he revealed the company's fourth quarterly earnings report for 2021, Mark Zuckerberg said that Reels is now Meta's fastest growing content format. Meta chief product officer Chris Cox called Reels a "bright point" for the company, as well, in a recent memo shared with employees warning them about "serious times" ahead due to slowing growth. He also said that one of the projects Meta intends to focus on for the second half of 2022 is monetizing Reels as quickly as possible.
Apparently, time spent viewing the short-form videos has more than doubled since last year, with 80 percent of that growth coming from Facebook. That's why the company will go as far as to redesign Instagram's and Facebook's home pages to better incorporate the short videos. Turning all video posts into Reels would give the company more content to circulate, which in turn would translate to more time viewing videos on the platform and bigger potential ad earnings for when the format is finally monetized. That said, not all experimental Instagram features make it to wide release, and it remains to be seen whether this one will survive the testing phase.