In a move to bolster its position against its formidable rival, TikTok, Instagram has widened access to its "Sharing to Reels" feature. This widget, available to all app developers, facilitates the seamless sharing of videos from external apps directly to Instagram Reels, Meta's answer to the short-form video sensation.
First tested in November with selected partners like Lightricks (Videoleap), Reface, and Smule, Instagram had initially hinted at broadening this feature's reach in 2023. This extension allows users to bypass the previous two-step process – exporting a video to their device and then uploading it to Instagram Reels.
The workflow is straightforward. Users create and edit their video in a third-party application, hit share, and then select the Instagram Reels icon. This action redirects them to the Instagram Camera for further customization, after which they can upload their masterpiece directly to Instagram.
This integration has already shown promising results. Early adopter Smule experienced a 150% surge in shared content, amplifying its organic traffic. Instagram emphasizes that such shared reels will be prominently featured on public recommendations, granting creators enhanced visibility.
While Meta also rolled out a comparable feature for Facebook Reels, the company has currently only opened the Instagram integration for interested developers without announcing any specific new partnerships.
TikTok, not to be left behind, introduced its "Direct Post" functionality, forging alliances with major players like Adobe, which offers AI-assisted video editing. This move by Instagram seems to be a counterstrategy to ensure it retains its market share and competes effectively.
As the competition heats up, it remains to be seen how these integrations will reshape the short-form video landscape and how creators will leverage these tools for their content strategies.