Instagram’s TikTok rival Reels runs ads worldwide – TechCrunch
Instagram reels get advertising. The company announced today that it is rolling out ads in its short-form video platform and TikTok rival Reels to businesses and advertisers worldwide. The ads are up to 30 seconds long, like reels themselves, and are vertical in format, similar to ads in Instagram Stories. Just like with Reels, the new ads will loop and people can like, comment and save them, just like other Reels videos.
The company had already tested Reels ads in select markets earlier this year, including India, Brazil, Germany and Australia, and more recently expanded those tests to Canada, France, the UK and the US. Early adopters of the new format include brands such as BMW, Nestlé (Nespresso), Louis Vuitton, Netflix, Uber, and others.
Instagram informs us that the ads will appear in most of the places where users view Reels content, including the Reels tab, Reels in Stories, Reels in Explore, and Reels in your Instagram feed, and between individual reels posted by users appear. In order for a Reels ad to be displayed, however, the user must first be in the immersive full-screen Reels viewer.
The company couldn’t tell how many times a user might see a Reels ad because the number of ads a viewer might encounter varies based on their Instagram usage. But the company does monitor user sentiment regarding the ads themselves and the general commercialism of reels, it says.
Like Instagram’s other advertising products, Reels Ads are launched with an auction-based model. So far, however, Instagram has declined to share any kind of performance metrics on how these ads are performing based on testing. It also doesn’t provide advertisers with any creator tools or templates to get them started with Reels ads. Instead, Instagram likely assumes that advertisers already have creative assets on hand or know how to create them, as the Reels ads are similar to other vertical video ads found elsewhere, including Instagram’s competitors.
While vertical videos have already shown the potential to drive consumers to ecommerce shopping sites, Instagram has not yet used Reels ads to direct users to its built-in Instagram stores, although it seems like a natural next step to connect the different parts of his app.
But maybe before this move, Instagram needs to make Reels a more attractive target – something other TikTok competitors, which now includes both Snap and YouTube, have done by directly funding content from creators. Instagram had meanwhile made offers to select TikTok stars directly.
The launch of Instagram Reels ads follows news of TikTok’s rising ad prices. Bloomberg reported this month that TikTok is now charging more than $ 1.4 million for a home page takeover ad in the US beginning in the third quarter, up to $ 1.8 million by the fourth quarter and more on a holiday than $ 2 million will rise. While the company is still building its ad team and advertisers haven’t yet allocated large chunks of their video budget to the app, that tends to follow user growth – and TikTok now has over 100 million monthly active users in the US
Both apps, Instagram and TikTok, now have more than a billion monthly active users worldwide, even though Reels is only part of the larger Instagram platform. For comparison: Instagram Stories is used by around 500 million users, which shows Instagram’s ability to direct traffic to different areas of its app. Instagram declined to share how many users Reels has to date.