YouTube to launch new Stories video format called ‘Reels’

By December 5, 2017YouTube

December 5, 2017

Earlier this year, KPCB’s Internet Trends report predicted that video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic in 2017.

It is safe to assume that a large proportion of this viewing will include social media, with Instagram Stories becoming an increasingly popular platform. A year and a half since it was launched, Fortune notes that Instagram Stories now has 300 million daily active users.

And businesses are getting in on the action too, with more than 50% of those using the channel producing an Instagram story in the last month. Of these, one in five organic stories generated a direct message from a consumer.

With stats like this, it is perhaps unsurprising that YouTube has announced it will be launching its own take on Stories, called ‘Reels’.

So, what can you expect from Reels?

In a blog post, the company revealed that the new feature will provide creators with “easy ways to express yourself and engage with fans”.

TechCrunch reports that, unlike Stories, Reels won’t live at the top of the app. Instead, the stories will appear in a brand-new tab on a creator’s channel, similar to Community. Viewers will then have the choice to find and watch the new videos or not.

YouTube also told the publication that the videos could appear on a viewer’s YouTube home page as recommendations if they engage with Reels, as the site will take it as a sign that they want to see them more often.

With Reels, creators will be able to shoot mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each, and will then be able to add filters, music, text, and more.

And it seems the company has been keen to hear from creators, with the blog post noting: “We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options. We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers.”

Again, this will make Reels differ from Instagram Stories, as videos posted on that platform expire after 24 hours, with users having no option to keep them for a longer period of time.

As it did when it launched Community, YouTube will experiment with a beta version of Reels to “learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators.” This testing will involve Reels being introduced to selected creators for feedback and further trials.

The announcement of Reels also revealed that YouTube is expanding the Community tab to all creators with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Other updates to Community will include changes to how posts work and are displayed to viewers, meaning that Community posts will feature on the Home feed for a creator’s most engaged viewers, even if they’re not subscribed to the channel.

YouTube hasn’t yet revealed when Reels will be arriving in beta, given an indication of how long it will be until it’s publicly available, or which creators will receive the format first, but if the popularity of Instagram Stories is anything to go by, Reels will quickly become a favourite feature on YouTube’s Community.

Whether you’re creating short, 30-second videos or longer, informative content, Spot Digital can help you boost organic views and engagement on YouTube. Why not give us a call today?