As it continues to chase the TikTok platform, Meta has announced a series of updates and new features for Reels’ products across both Facebook and Instagram.
Notably, it brings the audio sync feature to Facebook Reels and extends the Instagram Reels time to 90 seconds, instead of the previous 60 seconds.
The expansion comes after TikTok moved to the YouTube area with videos that can now be 10 minutes long, instead of just three minutes as before.
The company is also introducing several creative tools, audio tools, templates, and other options to make Reels more attractive, as TikTok’s impact — and its money-making potential — continues to grow.
Meta leverages existing features designed for Instagram Stories and brings them to Reels. Among them are voting, quiz, and emoji slider stickers popular on Instagram Stories. These become available as Reels features as well.
And it might make sense to repurpose some of its most popular creative tools for Reels. But Meta risks blurring the line between its various products.
Another new feature of Instagram Reels is the ability to import audio files. It is an option that would allow users to add background commentary or audio from any video of at least five seconds long that is stored in the device.
In addition, Instagram now offers a template feature. It was spotted in testing back in April, and it’s somewhat similar to TikTok’s template option.
The templates feature helps users recreate more complex layouts by simply adding their own content and clipping their clips.
META expands Instagram Reels expansion to 90 seconds
Separately, Facebook Reels is gaining a number of new features as well. A major addition here is the launch of Audio Sync, a tool that automatically syncs users’ videos to their favorite track.
Synchronizing video with sound has been the hallmark of TikTok, a technology that the company has expanded over the years with more creative effects related to music, such as those that include visualizations, animations and interactivity.
Facebook Reels users are also able to add voiceovers to their videos, which is common on TikTok.
Other features are aimed at attracting more professional content creators, such as desktop video trimmers that make it easy for content creators who publish long or recorded videos or directly test other formats, such as Reels.
They can convert their content to Facebook Reels using Creator Studio, for example. Meanwhile, game video makers get tools that allow them to create short-form vertical reels directly from their live content, with dual views of both the gameplay and the creator’s camera.
The content creator can now create, edit, and schedule Facebook Reels from the desktop.
Facebook pays the proposed Reels in its feed globally, as well as in Watch and Groups. It is trying to ramp up discovery and help content creators reach out to a larger scale.
The company reminds content creators that Reels are prioritized based on whether or not they offer original content.
Meta says: Voiceover, voice sync, and text-to-speech features are available for Facebook Reels. Emoji slider stickers, quiz, poll, templates, and import audio files are also available for Instagram Reels. The rest will be rolled out in the coming weeks to global markets where Reels are available.