Instagram Reel-y wants more users to see, share and engage with its own version of TikTok. The Meta-owned platform is reportedly testing a design change that will let users swiftly access their recently shared Reels.
This feature is meant to make it easier for users to reshare Reels they’ve already shared, by displaying such short videos prominently. A Turkey-based account called Dijital Aglar shared a post about it, reports TechCrunch.
Instagram is testing showing the latest posts you send to a friend as a preview.
(iOS – Latest version – Türkiye) pic.twitter.com/0dd27PODaH
— Dijital Ağlar (@yousufortaccom) March 5, 2023
As you can see from the image posted on Twitter, Instagram is testing a row at the top of users’ DMs with a “Latest Shares” label.
The shared posts also display the avatars of the friends with whom the user shared the Reels.
If a user shares one of these short videos multiple times, it will show the Reel only once with the avatar of the friend they last shared it with.
“We’re rolling out improvements to how you can search for and rediscover Reels that were previously shared in messages,” said a Meta spokesperson to TechCrunch.
So Instagram has officially confirmed the development of this feature. But it’s still not clear whether the aforementioned “Latest Shares” row will display all types of content shared by users, or only Reels.
In the first half of 2022, Instagram announced that new videos shorter than 15 minutes would automatically start showing as Reels. The Video and Reels tabs were also mushed together into one single button.
Instagram has faced a lot of creator and user resistance over its push to become a worthy rival to TikTok. This is because it is primarily viewed as a social media platform for sharing photos.
But as TikTok continues to climb in popularity and more people get used to those short, addictive video formats, who’s to say Instagram won’t attain success on this front?
Of course, Meta will have to make smarter investments in Reels for this to happen. However, as this report from December 2022 indicates, the company’s efforts to keep creators happy seem wildly unfocused.
Without enough original content that fits in with the Instagram aesthetic, Reels will find it very hard indeed to compete with the likes of TikTok.