Today, Meta, the US-based tech and social media touchstone, has announced an expansion of the availability of its Facebook Reels for iOS and Android to more than 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
The “Reels” feature was first launched on Meta’s Instagram platform in 2020 as a means to combat the rising popularity of then-newcomer TikTok. Reels proved a resounding success, so much so Meta launched the feature on its Facebook platform last year.
Meta says it is also introducing “better ways” to help creators to earn money, new creation tools and more places to watch and create Facebook Reels along with this new feature expansion.
Reels Launched in Sub-Saharan Africa
Prior to this launch Reels was only available on Facebook in India, Mexico, Canada, the U.S. Today with the launch, the feature is now available across 20 nations in sub-Saharan Africa including: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, Seychelles, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria, Namibia, Mali, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Guinea, Ghana, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Burkina Faso.
Commenting on the launch Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa at Meta says, “We’ve seen that video now accounts for almost all of the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram, and Reels is our fastest-growing content format by far. This is why we’re focused on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered, connect with their audience, and earn money. We also want to make it fun and easy for people to find and share relevant and entertaining content.”
Now Opportunities for Creators on Meta Social Media
Meta is also creating a variety of opportunities for creators to earn money for their reels. The Reels Play bonus program, part of Meta’s $1 billion creator investment, pays eligible creators up to $35,000 a month based on the views of their qualifying reels. The company says that in the coming months, the bonus program will be extended to more countries, so more creators can get rewarded for creating reels that their communities love.
As part of this latest launch Meta is also debuting new brand suitability controls, including Publisher Lists, Blocklists, Inventory Filters and Delivery Reports for Banner and Sticker Ads in Facebook Reels in every region they are available, giving advertisers more control over how their ads appear in places they don’t consider suitable for their brand or campaign.
Additionally, Meta has been testing full-screen and immersive ads in between Facebook Reels since October of last year, and will roll them out to more places around the world over the coming months. Meta says that just like with organic content on Facebook, “people can comment, like, view, save, share and skip them”.
More Editing Features
In addition to the features announced last year, creators around the world will be able to access:
- Remix: Create your own reel alongside an existing, publicly-shared reel on Facebook. When you create a Remix, you can create a reel that includes all or part of another creator’s reel.
- 60-second Reels: Make reels up to 60 seconds long.
- Drafts: You will soon be able to create a reel and choose to “Save As Draft” below the Save button.
- Video Clipping: In the coming months, we’re planning to roll out video clipping tools that will make it easier for creators who publish live or long-form, recorded videos to test different formats.
Create and Discover Reels in New Places
Over the coming weeks, Meta says, the following updates will be rolled out to make it easier to create and discover reels in new places:
- Reels in Stories: You can share public reels to Stories on Facebook, making it easy to share favourite reels with friends and giving creators more visibility and reach. You’ll also be able to create reels from existing public stories.
- Reels in Watch: You’ll be able to watch reels directly within the Watch tab and we’re developing tools to help you create reels in the Watch tab as well.
- Top of Feed: We’re adding a new Reels label at the top of Feed so you’ll be able to easily create and watch reels in just a few clicks.
- Suggested Reels in Feed: In select countries, we’re starting to suggest reels that you may like in your Feed from people you do not already follow.
Meta is also exploring ways to make it easier for creators to share Reels to both their Facebook and Instagram audiences, such as cross-posting.
You can find Facebook Reels in Feed, Groups and Watch. When viewing a reel, you can follow the creator directly from the video, like and comment on it or share it with friends.