Facebook is taking another step to encourage users to create original content for its TikTok clone. The company has introduced a new “Share to Reels” feature to allow third-party app users to post directly to Facebook Reels.
The update allows external developers to add a “Reels button” to their app so users can post clips directly to Reels while taking advantage of Reels’ editing tools, Facebook wrote in a blog post. Early developers to use the feature include Smule, which makes a popular karaoke app and video editing apps Vita and VivaVideo.
The move is another sign of the growing importance of Reels and how Facebook has tried to borrow from the same playbook it used with Stories. Facebook has pushed Reels into almost all of its service in recent months, just as it once did with Stories when the company saw Snapchat as its main rival. Now that Facebook is losing users to TikTok, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has bet big on the success of Reels. He said Reels would be “as important to our products as Stories” and that refocusing its service to appeal to younger users was the company’s “north star”.
But getting users to post original content, not just ripped TikTok clips, has been a bit of a challenge for the company. Instagram, which has had Reels the longest, said a year ago it would make videos with watermarks from other apps, but the service is still full of recycled TikToks. Adding a “Reels” button to other content creation apps is unlikely to fix this problem overnight, but it might help bring in new clips not created by TikTok.
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