For over two years, Instagram has been trying to compete with TikTok by promoting its short-form video format, Reels. However, in recent weeks, brands have noticed a significant drop in views on Reels posted on their accounts. This has led to questions about the reliability of social media algorithms and the difficulty of producing video content for platforms that are constantly changing.
The decrease in Reels views has come at a time when photo performance on Instagram has generally improved. This shift in algorithm highlights the challenges that brands and publishers face in publishing content to platforms that are likely to change without warning. Social media strategists have to work harder than ever to get their content seen by the audience they are trying to reach.
The cost of producing videos is also a major issue. Video production costs are generally more expensive than photo production, making it difficult to justify the expense to senior executives who may not be as up-to-date with algorithm changes. As a result, many brands are hesitant to invest in video content, even though it has the potential to drive engagement and revenue.
The decline in Reels views is particularly concerning because Instagram has been actively promoting the format as a way to compete with TikTok. TikTok has become the go-to platform for short-form video content, with over a billion active users worldwide. In contrast, Instagram has over a billion users but has struggled to keep up with TikTok’s popularity, particularly among younger users.
The decline in Reels views also highlights the importance of understanding social media algorithms. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok use complex algorithms to determine which content appears in users’ feeds. These algorithms take into account a variety of factors, including engagement, content type, and even the time of day. As a result, brands and publishers need to be constantly monitoring and adjusting their content strategies to ensure that their content is seen by their target audience.