15 Seconds of Fame

Preview image of “15 Seconds of Fame”
  • Brands can increase their organic reach with reels
  • Shingi Rice Unsplash

Instagram introduces a new short video feature to take on TikTok.

While advertising expenditures on Facebook are decreasing, photo and video apps Instagram and TikTok are enjoying increasing popularity. Due to their success among similar target groups, the two social media brands are in constant competition for followers, in an arms race of innovative features and forms of engagement.

Instagram Reels was launched in Germany and France in June 2020 as an additional content format to the already well known Instagram feed, Stories and IGTV, with the US and other markets following in August. The new clips strongly resemble the main format of the young Chinese competitor TikTok: users can post up to 15-second videos, enhanced with audio and video tools.

Louis Vuitton was one of the first brands to successfully implement the format in its social media marketing. The label presented new collection pieces under the hashtag “#LVCruise” and accompanied by music from bands like Woodkid. The five films generated a total of five million views. The online furniture retailer Westwing already put more than 68 reels online between June and September, generating over 25 million views. The fact that Instagram also plays the reels to users who are not followers of the respective brand creates reach effects beyond the fan block. Zalando has also been involved from the start, reaching almost six million views by the end of August with 15 clips, despite the fashion retailer’s account having only one million fans. Even though the brands are not yet able to link to their websites within their reels, more and more international heavyweights are now using the new feature – like recent additions Mercedes-Benz and Nike.