Ask anyone which social media platform boomed in 2020, they’ll say TikTok. Ask us which platform responded the fastest, we’ll say Instagram. Within months of TikTok seeing its numbers explode, Instagram launched Reels. Whether or not Reels will outgrow TikTok remains to be seen, but we’ve certainly seen its potential in the last months. So it’s time to get real about Reels and tell you what we’ve learned so far!
Hacking the unhackable algorithm
It’s no secret that Instagram’s algorithm remains, in fact, a well-kept secret. The addition of Reels doesn’t change this, but it did create a new opportunity for brands and creators: the opportunity to go viral. Hold up, haven’t we been saying that it’s (almost) impossible to go viral on social anymore? We have. Where TikTok was the exception to this with its “For You” page, Instagram Reels now works the same way.
An addictive vertical-scrolling format, a front-and-center “Explore” page, more placement possibilities and the fact that the mysterious algorithm tends to ‘reward’ using the latest format… All of these contribute to some Reels exploding in terms of impressions - like Action Netherlands' Reels getting over a 100K impressions each time, sometimes even 200K, and this without any media budget!