Whether Facebook deems it so or not, its new Instagram Reels feature, or at least the content it generates, is quite familiar looking, and was released shortly after the announcement that TikTok may be banned in the U.S.
CivicScience launched two surveys to understand initial likelihood of use among the general population. Among those who use social media, 12% of respondents age 13 and older are at least somewhat likely to use the new feature, and 18% aren’t sure.
To gauge actual experience with Reels so far, another survey found that about 3% of respondents (based on the gen. pop. 13+) have already used it, and another 3% plan to. Just under 40% of the population at large has heard of it. But that’s actually quite strong given that it just went live.
Looking directly at existing user bases, so far Reels is more popular among TikTok users than Instagram users. Through cross-samples, 10% of Instagram users, as of August 11, have reported they have used or intend to use Reels. The number jumps way higher among TikTok users: 37% have used or intend to use Reels. You might say this was Facebook’s plan all along.
Adopters and intended users of Reels are the most likely to be aged 13-24, a group which CivicScience recently found is moving away from TikTok over the last few months. It very well could be that the Reels feature will drive this age group to use Instagram more.
According to additional CivicScience data, this Gen Z segment of the population has been declining in the Instagram user base as well, but looking at the month to date numbers that may be starting to rebound.
Time will tell what Reels brings to the Instagram user base, but it’s doubtful that it will hurt the social media platform.