Instagram is trying to cut down on Reels that have been reposted from TikTok. The platform just announced that its algorithm will no longer promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark.
Instagram Cracks Down on TikTok Reposts
Instagram is making it harder for users to discover Reels that have been sourced from TikTok (and any other app, for that matter). The platform made a post on its @Creators Instagram account, announcing a new list of best practices for Reels.
Most notably, Instagram doesn’t recommend posting Reels that are “visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contains logos or watermarks).” Instagram states that “these types of Reels won’t be recommended as often to people who don’t yet follow you in places like Reels tab.”
Instagram launched Reels in the summer of 2020 as a direct attempt to compete with TikTok. Because of the similarity between Reels and TikTok, both of which employ a short-form video format, users naturally repost TikToks to Reels. But now, these TikTok transplants will no longer get the same treatment as the content natively created on Reels.
This makes sense for Instagram, as the platform seeks to make Reels even more popular than TikTok. Instagram no longer wants users to treat Reels as a dumping ground for viral TikToks—it wants original content made by creators that actually use Reels.
Reels with watermarks from competing apps aren’t the only types of videos that Instagram’s algorithm will be deprioritizing. Instagram also notes that any Reel that’s blurry, has a border around it, or is covered in text won’t be promoted.
As for the kind of content that will help users get discovered, Instagram suggests that creators post content that’s inspiring, utilizes creative tools, has a vertical orientation, takes advantage of Instagram’s music library, and is “entertaining and fun.” The platform also recommends trying to start an app-wide trend.
According to Instagram, following these best practices will help you “have the best shot at being discovered.”
Will TikTok Ever Be Dethroned?
Instagram’s updated best practices for Reels just show how much of a threat TikTok really is. It’s commonplace to see Reels sporting a TikTok logo, and this update will attempt to put the kibosh on this trend.
That said, this might clean up any recycled content, but it could steer away creators who have a following on both apps. Instagram is trying hard to be like TikTok, and it might end up losing its own identity in the process.
Instagram has confirmed that it’s working on a prototype of a vertical Stories feed.
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