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Facebook Rolls Out Short-Form Video Format Reels Globally

Reels will be available in more than 150 countries for iPhone and Android Facebook users.

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Facebook Reels is the social network's short-form video feature.
Facebook

Facebook's competition with short-form video app TikTok continues to heat up.

On Tuesday, the social network said it's releasing Reels to more than 150 countries and adding new features that allow creators to earn money through short-form video. The expansion of Reels could help Facebook attract more daily users to the main social network as it competes with apps such as TikTok and Snapchat that are popular among teens. In the last three months of 2021, Facebook's daily active users fell from 1.93 billion to 1.92 billion, with the fourth-quarter drop mainly coming from developing countries. It was the first time Facebook saw a drop in daily users.

First released in the US in September, Facebook Reels allows users to record 30-second videos. The company is expanding the length of Facebook Reels to a minute. Since 2020, Reels has also been available on photo-and-video service Instagram, an app owned by Facebook parent Meta. 

Meta says that Reels is its fastest growing content format and video makes up half the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram. As Meta focuses more on short-form video, the company has also noted that Reels doesn't generate as much ad dollars as the company's Feed or Stories, where people can post content that vanishes in 24 hours. Reels doesn't include as many ads compared with Facebook's Feed or Stories.

Facebook said it's testing more types of ads and expanding a program that pays creators up to $35,000 based on how many views certain Reels get. It's also testing the ability for fans to tip creators through a virtual good called stars. Meta pays creators one cent for every star received. 

Facebook is also adding more features to Reels. The social network is allowing users to "remix" a Facebook Reel so they can record a video alongside another user's video like TikTok's Duet feature. They can share Reels to other formats on Facebook, including Stories that vanish in 24 hours. Facebook users will be able to watch Reels from the social network's video hub Watch. The company said it was exploring a way for creators to cross post Reels on Facebook and Instagram.