Facebook Reels: Everything You Need to Know

Another month, another new platform for companies to learn. Last week, Meta launched Facebook’s short-form video platform, Facebook Reels, in 150 countries. It came after Facebook Reels first launched in the US in September 2021. With social platforms constantly coming out with new features, we understand it can be difficult for businesses and marketers to keep up. So what is Facebook Reels, why has Meta launched it now, and how (& why) should businesses start using this new feature?

In this guide, I will cover everything that brands and marketers need to know about Facebook Reels. Read on to learn about the background, features, requirements, best practices and more for Facebook Reels.

WHAT IS FACEBOOK REELS?

Facebook Reels essentially brings the same short-form video experiences and tools from Instagram’s ‘Reels’ feature to Facebook users. Meta (who owns both Facebook and Instagram) launched the feature to IOS and Android users globally on 22nd February 2022. It differs from Facebook’s other video options, primarily in that Reels have to be vertical and last under 60 seconds long.

Below you can find the current Reels requirements and features available to users.

REQUIREMENTS:

Length: minimum 3 seconds, maximum 60 seconds

File Format: MP4

Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical)

Video Resolution: minimum 1080p, 4k if available

FEATURES:

  • Add effects (AR), stickers & text
  • Use real-time or pre-recorded video clips (or a combination)
  • Green screen compatible
  • Set timer/countdown for recording hands-free
  • Add audio from Facebook’s music library, or your own original audio
  • Trim video clip(s) to desired length
  • Adjust speed to speed up or slow down part of your video or audio
  • Save created Reels to drafts

ADVERTISING & MONETISATION:

Alongside the launch, Meta announced that they are currently testing Facebook Reels Overlay Ads in North America. Currently, this involves non-interruptive ads in 2 formats: banner ads and sticker ads. Meta has said these tests will likely extend to additional countries by mid-March. Then in the coming months, full-screen immersive ads are likely to start appearing between Reels.

  • Banner ads: semi-transparent overlay ads that appear at the bottom of a Reel
  • Sticker ads: static image ads that creators can place anywhere within their Reel

Reels creators will be able to earn a portion of the revenue from these ads. They will also have an opportunity to earn money through the Reels Play bonus program. Through this program, eligible creators will earn up to $35k per month (based on the views of their qualifying reels.)

WHY HAS META INTRODUCED REELS TO FACEBOOK?

Undoubtedly, Facebook Reels is the latest part of Meta’s response to the threat posed by the rival platform, TikTok. Just how big of a threat is TikTok? TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021, ahead of Instagram (by 111 million downloads) and Facebook (by 240 million).

“Reels is our fastest-growing content format by far.”

Meta has had success with short-form videos before, first introducing Reels to Instagram in 2020. It has proved to be a successful feature, with Meta stating, “Reels is our fastest-growing content format by far.”

Facebook Reels is also part of Meta’s strategy to attract people back to Facebook. In the final quarter of 2021, overall user numbers declined for the first time in the platform’s 17-year history. In particular, Facebook is struggling with engaging younger audiences. Young users have been in decline on Facebook since 2012, long before the birth of TikTok.

IS FACEBOOK REELS RIGHT FOR MY BUSINESS?

Is your business already creating short-form vertical video content for platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram or YouTube Shorts? If so, you can repost that same content to Facebook Reels to reach more people. If not, there are other reasons why Facebook Reels could be worthwhile for your company.

Consider how much of your target audience is active on Facebook. Watching videos makes up half the time people spend on Facebook. Therefore, Reels are a great way to get your brand in front of Facebook users. Short-form video content has also proven to be popular amongst younger internet users (especially Millennials and Generation Z). So if this is a demographic you want to attract, get filming.

WHERE CAN I FIND FACEBOOK REELS?

Currently, users can find Reels embedded within their mobile news feeds. (Note: you might need to update your app to gain access to Reels.) However, Meta has said users should soon be able to also find Reels at the top of their Feeds, in Groups and within the Watch tab. It is not yet possible to watch or create Reels from a desktop. Facebook is constantly updating their website and apps, so keep an eye out. (We will try to keep this guide as up to date as possible!)

HOW DO I CREATE REELS ON FACEBOOK?

  1. You can access the Reel creation menu under the post creation section at the top of your Feed, by selecting “Create” from the dedicated Reels section in the Feed or by selecting the camera icon in the top right corner while viewing a Reel.
  2. At this point, if you have not already, you will need to allow Facebook to access your device’s camera.
  3. From there, you can record a clip directly in the app or upload photos/videos from your library by selecting the icon in the bottom left corner, or use a combination.
  4. After recording/uploading your video clip, you can edit it and add audio, text, effects and stickers.
  5. Once your content is ready, select ‘next’, provide a description for the Reel, and choose whether or not you want your Reel to be public. Now your Reel is ready to share!

BEST PRACTICES FOR FACEBOOK REELS:

  • Keep up with the latest Reels trends and challenges (or create your own!)
  • Share your Reels to Facebook Stories to reach more people in your audience.
  • Repost your content to other short-form video platforms (such as Instagram, TikTok & YouTube Shorts.)
  • Focus on providing educational or entertainment value to your audience (if you can do both, that is even better!)
  • Use storytelling to keep viewers engaged from beginning to end.

Thank you for reading Blueprint Film’s guide to Facebook Reels. If you found it useful, please share it. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter ✉️ to get our best content delivered straight to your inbox!

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Blueprint Film

Film Production Company | London + Lincoln Studios | Commercial, Charity and Event Video Production Services | Feature Films