Instagram says its algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark

Image: Instagram

Instagram’s newest guidance for creators makes one thing clear: the platform wants people to stop posting recycled TikToks to Reels. Today, Instagram says it’s making changes to its algorithm and how it recommends Reels to users. Along with that, it’s issuing new best practices on its @creators account to give Instagram users tips on how to make content that’s likely to be seen and promoted.

The team now recommends that Reels users post vertical videos that use music found in Instagram’s library or sounds that they find on Reels. They also suggest “starting a trend” that others can participate in, like dance crazes, as well as “entertaining” and “fun” content. Reels that are mostly covered by text, are blurry, have a watermark or logo, or have a border around it won’t be recommended as frequently.

“We’re building on what we’ve learned from Explore to recommend fun and entertaining videos in places like the Reels tab, and personalize the experience,” says spokesperson Devi Narasimhan in an email to The Verge. “We are getting better at using ranking signals that help us predict whether people will find a reel entertaining and whether we should recommend it.”

Narasimhan says Instagram user surveys demonstrated that people have a “less satisfying” Reels experience when content is recycled from other apps or is blurry, so it’ll start deemphasizing that content in its recommendation software. This makes it less likely to be discovered by people who aren’t following the person who posted it.

It’s no surprise these recommendations are coming six months after Reels launched in the US. The platform might have been okay with people initially bringing their TikToks over to Instagram, but as it looks to become a popular destination on its own, Instagram needs to make sure Reels isn’t just an advertisement for TikTok, or worse, a place where people just dump whatever content they’ve already made. This might mean more work for creators, however, who will possibly have to shift some of their effort to Reels, rather than focusing on one platform and then distributing the content everywhere else.

Comments

Are there any reels that aren’t just TikTok/Twitter reposts?
Let’s not forget there are apps that remove watermarks already.

The idea that this is anything other than Instagram acknowledging that their own (copycat) service is overshadowed by content brought over from the copied service people prefer is ludicrous.

I’m sure the big idea people at Facebook are frantically searching for a Reels-led version of the next Ice Bucket Challenge.

Lol it’s cute that they think this rule change would help them, not hurt them. Instagram’s Reels UI is the most frustratingly unusable piece of trash I’ve ever come across. It makes it extremely grating to do anything more than a simple one clip upload, compared to TikTok where I was genuinely impressed by how well thought out the editing features were. Just watch the volume of content drop.

"Please stop posting recycled content from the competitor we copied. It makes it much harder to pretend we’re not copying them."

*stole.

Remember when Instagram used to be a photo sharing app?

It still is though? It’s whatever you want it to be, there are tons of photo accounts that I’ve followed for years that still post photos exclusively.

But it’s very nice to have other features available in the same app if needed.

Can someone please make a new photo-sharing app so I can abandon Instagram to the pits of hell?

There are plenty of photo sharing app; Imgur, Pinterest, Tumblr etc. The power behind these app is not the app itself, but the people using it.

I mean something centered around photography as opposed to pure-photo sharing, not just faux imageboards or the sewage from them.

Soo… no Reels will be promoted?

Instagram is such a mess, it went from such a simple app to the bloated thing that it is now. I’ve never seen anything useful on the explore tab, it’s just spam accounts posting pictures of celebrities for me…. I don’t even follow that many celebrities and I never tap on any of the explore recommendations.

TikTok on the other hand has been fantastic to use the for you page is actually showing me stuff I want to see.

Cool. Next, how about they just turn reels off entirely?

TikTok videos are just cancer. I mean, I see them even on 9gag, there’s nowhere to hide

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