Last week, Facebook announced it has started testing ‘Facebook Reels’ in the U.S.
The new feature, which is initially tested to improve upon feedback, will allow users to create and share short-form videos directly within News Feed and Facebook Groups.
Users will be able to create Facebook Reels by tapping on the “Create” button within the Reels section of News Feed – or by tapping on “Reels” at the top of News Feed.
The feature will allow users to create their short videos directly on the platform, adding almost all the same features offered by Reels on Instagram.
This includes adding music or other audio to a Reel, adding an effect, and editing the speed of a specific portion of the video or the audio.
A creator’s original video and audio from a Reel can be remixed by other users, with the creator’s permission, much like on TikTok; however, remixes will apparently not be available on Facebook – at least not during testing.
Reels will be shared publicly by default, but users will be able also to opt to share their video with “Friends only” or with a specific audience like “Friends except….”
Reels can also be created and shared with members of specific Facebook Groups. To view previous Reels, users can tap on “My Reels,” but they can also be found in search results. Furthermore, Facebook will use the same algorithm as Instagram to select who sees a Reel based on their interests.
The company’s decision to replicate Instagram Reels is due to a growing interest in video, particularly short-form video.
Watching or creating videos makes up almost half the time that users spend on Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg recently explained that Reels are “the largest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram,” given the popularity of short-form video.
“We’re very focused on making it easy for anyone to create video, and then for those videos to be viewed across all of our different services, starting with Facebook and Instagram first,” he had told investors.
The test phase of the feature will not include ads, unlike on Instagram Reels. However, Facebook might be adding monetization to Facebook Reels in the future.
Facebook is also directly investing in the Reels creator community in hopes of better competing with TikTok.