Facebook Reels launches globally to double down on TikTok rivalry

Facebook Reels
Facebook Reels (Image credit: Meta)

What you need to know

  • Meta announced the global launch of Facebook Reels, along with new editing features and ad opportunities.
  • The Reels platform is available both on Android and iOS, where users can access various features already found on Instagram Reels.
  • Meta is also testing new ways to help creators earn money, including banner and sticker ads.

Meta considers Reels to be its "fastest growing content format by far" more than a year after launching its TikTok clone on Instagram. The short-form video platform was naturally introduced to Facebook users in the United States in September of last year, and the feature is now rolling out globally.

The social networking giant announced the wider launch of Facebook Reels on mobile devices, including the best Android phones and iPhones, making it available in more than 150 countries. Alongside the expansion, Meta also unveiled new editing tools and ad options.

Facebook Reels

Source: Meta (Image credit: Source: Meta)

These creative features are already live on Instagram Reels and Facebook Reels in the U.S. The latest announcement means anyone in the world can now remix videos that have been publicly uploaded by other creators. This is similar to TikTok's Duet feature, which allows you to create your own video alongside an existing public video on the platform.

As with Instagram Reels, Facebook also allows you to upload reels up to 60 seconds long. You can save drafts, just like on TikTok, and share them whenever you want. In the coming months, Meta also plans to introduce new video clipping features, allowing creators "who publish live or long-form, recorded videos" to experiment with various formats.

To make reels discoverable in more places, Meta will allow you to share short-form videos in Stories, within the Facebook Watch tab, at the top of your News Feed, and in the form of Suggested Reels.

Facebook Reels In Groups

Source: Meta (Image credit: Source: Meta)

Creative tools aside, Meta recognizes the role of creators in making Reels a success, so it's testing new methods to help them earn more with Reels. Ads were introduced to Instagram Reels last year, so it's not surprising to see Meta do the same for the Facebook version.

The Menlo Park-based company is testing overlay ads with creators in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The monetization ads come in two varieties: banner ads and sticker ads. The former appears "as a semi-transparent overlay at the bottom of a Facebook Reel" while sticker ads can show up anywhere in a video.

Additionally, creators who are already part of Meta's in-stream ads program in the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be able to access its automatic ad-placement program. This lets creators monetize their publicly-shared reels, and Meta intends to expand these overlay ads in "nearly all countries where in-stream ads are available" in March.

Meta will also launch full-screen and immersive ads in between Reels globally in the coming months after conducting a series of tests since October. Paid Stars will also be rolled out in the coming weeks to enable fans to directly donate to creators they follow.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.