Facebook is to start advertising on its Instagram Reels platform. The testing phase will begin in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia, before rolling out to other markets if successful. The social media giant aims to monetise its short-form video feature, and follows rival TikTok-owner ByteDance who generated over 27 billion dollars in advertising revenue in China last year.
According to Reuters Facebook Inc is seeking to capitalise on its popularity in India, a fast-growing social media market, while rival TikTok has been banned from the country since last year. Facebook has said it plans to test other features in India, such as letting content creators share Reels videos on their Facebook accounts.
The introduction of ads is an “indication of how strong the momentum is for Reels,” Carolyn Everson, vice president of global business group at Facebook told Reuters. Everson did not share usage metrics for Reels.
Facebook also announced Thursday it will let advertisers select categories of video content they want to place ads on, such as videos about children and parenting, animals and pets or fitness and workouts.
The effort is Facebook’s biggest move yet to let brands advertise alongside content subjects. Advertisers typically use Facebook to target certain users by their interests. “This is a big deal for marketers,” Everson said.
Reels can be an interesting channel for fashion companies to gain visibility, especially with a younger audience. The 3 to 30 second reels may not allow time for deep storytelling but are perfect for a straight-to-the-point marketing tactic. Louis Vuitton, for example, successfully uses Reels to introduce collections with several being viewed more than six million times.