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Instagram struggles as Reels’ popularity pales in comparison to TikTok, internal Meta docs reveal

Mark Zuckerberg faces an uphill battle in his quest to make Instagram the go-to video platform, as new internal documents show that TikTok users spend more than ten times as many hours on that platform as Instagram users spend on Reels.

Instagram users spend 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, which is less than a tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day scrolling on that network, according to one document.

The document, which has been reviewed by The Wall Street Journalwas published internally in August, showing that Reels engagement had fallen, down 13.6% in the past four weeks, and that “most Reels users have zero engagement at all.”

Meta characterized the viewing hours data as outdated and not global, but declined to give the Journal other figures.

New internal documents show that TikTok users spend more than ten times as many hours on that platform as Instagram users do with Reels.  Above: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg

New internal documents show that TikTok users spend more than ten times as many hours on that platform as Instagram users do with Reels. Above: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Instagram users spend 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, which is less than a tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day scrolling on that network, according to one document.

Instagram users spend 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, which is less than a tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day scrolling on that network, according to one document.

Instagram users spend 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, which is less than a tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day scrolling on that network, according to one document.

“We still have work to do,” Meta spokeswoman Devi Narasimhan told the Journal. “But creators and companies are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than we expected as more people watch, create and connect through Reels than ever before.”

The Journal interviewed a creator named Landen Purifoy, 22, who compared his experience to sharing the same video on different social media platforms.

Purifoy makes videos for TikTok and other platforms – many of which are watched by millions on TikTok – in which he uses a device called a talkbox to make funny sounds and music

Purifoy posted the same video to TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat’s Spotlight, and Instagram Reels. It got millions of views on every platform except Instagram – where it got less than 100,000.

1663013600 126 Instagram struggles as Reels popularity pales in comparison to TikTok

1663013600 126 Instagram struggles as Reels popularity pales in comparison to TikTok

“We still have work to do,” Meta spokeswoman Devi Narasimhan told the Journal. “But creators and companies are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than we expected as more people watch, create and connect through Reels than ever before”

In July of this year, the company was forced to undo a series of changes, including full-screen videos and photos after users — including celebrities like Kylie Jenner — scolded it for copying TikTok.

In July of this year, the company was forced to undo a series of changes, including full-screen videos and photos after users — including celebrities like Kylie Jenner — scolded it for copying TikTok.

In July of this year, the company was forced to undo a series of changes, including full-screen videos and photos after users — including celebrities like Kylie Jenner — scolded it for copying TikTok.

“Nobody is going to create original content for Instagram,” Purifoy told the Journal. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

Instagram has announced a creators fund that will pay out $1 billion by the end of this year.

The news comes at a challenging time for the California-based company, which launched Reels in August 2020 and said the new feature accounts for a fifth of the time people spend on Instagram.

In July of this year, the company was forced to undo a series of changes, including full-screen videos and photos, after users — including celebrities like the Kardashians — scolded it for copying TikTok. A photographer named Tati Bruening launched a petition that garnered more than 250,000 signatures to “Make Instagram Instagram Again.”

Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, told Casey Newton’s Platformer at the time that some of the changes will be phased out gradually, but while the number of algorithmically recommended videos people see will be reduced, he says the number will rise again when the company finds that the technology will improve. improved.

“I’m glad we took a risk – if we don’t fail occasionally, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough,” Mosseri said. “But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we learned a lot, then we come back with some kind of new idea or iteration. So we’re going to work on that.’

TikTok is also gaining on Instagram in monthly active users, with Instagram at 2 billion and TikTok already at 1 billion. However, within Meta’s family of apps — including Facebook and WhatsApp — the tech giant has at least 3.6 billion monthly active users.

Meta announced its first-ever revenue drop in July, as it faced an ad slump and competition from companies like TikTok.

A few months before that, Meta had asked its users to stop re-sharing TikTok videos on Reels in order to encourage more creators to create original content in the app. Instagram first said it would de-rank watermarked clips from other platforms, including TikTok, in February 2021.

“TikTok is light years ahead of Reels,” said Evan Asano, CEO of influencer marketing agency Mediakix, referring to TikTok’s powerful content recommendation system and the fact that the app is much more targeted than Instagram’s.

TikTok is also gaining on Instagram in monthly active users, with Instagram at 2 billion and TikTok already at 1 billion.  However, in the Meta family of apps — including Facebook and WhatsApp — the tech giant has at least 3.6 billion monthly active users.

TikTok is also gaining on Instagram in monthly active users, with Instagram at 2 billion and TikTok already at 1 billion.  However, in the Meta family of apps — including Facebook and WhatsApp — the tech giant has at least 3.6 billion monthly active users.

TikTok is also gaining on Instagram in monthly active users, with Instagram at 2 billion and TikTok already at 1 billion. However, in the Meta family of apps — including Facebook and WhatsApp — the tech giant has at least 3.6 billion monthly active users.

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