Facebook may be close to giving Instagram Reels exposure a significant boost, by integrating a new Reels clips display directly into the Facebook app, as it seeks to combat the continuing rise of TikTok.
As you can see in this example, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Facebook is currently testing a new display option for the top of feed Stories panel, which would give users the option to see an alternative feed display of either Stories, Instagram Reels clips, or in-progress video and audio rooms.
That could help boost discovery of Facebook's new audio rooms, which are now in live testing with selected creators and groups, but it would most significantly increase exposure for Instagram Reels, with Reels content highlighted right at the top of the Facebook app, which is used by 2.85b people per month.
Instagram, of course, has a billion active users of its own, but many Facebook users are not users of Instagram, or TikTok. That could make this a great option for Facebook to boost interest in Reels, by exposing a range of new audiences to the option, which could subsequently increase engagement, and interest in Reels overall.
Facebook has been trying everything it can to make Reels a bigger element in the app, in an effort to stop users from migrating across to TikTok instead. It's still working on improving the Reels algorithm to maximize engagement and usage, while it's also developing a new payment program for top Reels creators, which looks similar to Snapchat's Spotlight payment offering for top clips.
Facebook's been testing Reels recommendations in Facebook Watch and user feeds since late last year, but this experiment, which is currently not in live testing as yet, would be the biggest step that it's taken on this front to date.
In addition to this, Facebook's also developing a new option to create Reels in Facebook.
Again, both of these options are in the early experimental phase, and it may well end up that neither gets released.
But it is interesting to see how Facebook's working to build Reels, as it continues to map out ways to fend off competition from TikTok.