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Instagram Reels Predictions for 2022

Last year, short-form videos, particularly Instagram Reels, exploded in popularity.

It’s because Reels are shared with everyone on Instagram, not just people that follow you.

The unique format makes it easy for businesses and creators to go viral and expand their communities, which is why so many people are jumping on board.

We see no sign of Reels slowing down in 2022 – it’s only bigger and better from here.

We’re giving our predictions for 2022, which range from additional creative tools to a more advanced algorithm.

Instagram Reels Predictions for 2022:

Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, recently admitted that Reels are “still quite far behind” in the short-form video space – specifically when compared to TikTok. 

We have a lot of room to improve,” Mosseri said in a series of Instagram Stories.

With this, we can expect big things for Instagram Reels in the new year.

Here are our hot takes for 2022:

  1. More Advanced Reels Algorithm
  2. Reels Shopping Will Go Next-level
  3. Reels Will Become a Major Part of the Instagram App
  4. The Instagram Reels Aesthetic Will Become More Prominent 
  5. Reels Will Have a Separate Identity to TikTok 
  6. New Creative Editing Features and Interactive Filters
  7. New Incentives for Creators

#1: More Advanced Reels Algorithm

If you work in social media, you know how perplexing the Instagram algorithm can be.

It’s the same with the Instagram Reels algorithm. The Instagram Reels algorithm, as far as we know, offers less screen time to low-quality, clearly repeated footage.

However, we still don’t know exactly how the Reels algorithm works.

One thing we do know is that it doesn’t appear to be as sophisticated as TikTok’s algorithm, which can detect even the tiniest of interests and present viewers with appropriate information.

If Instagram wants to be competitive in 2022, we expect it to borrow a page from TikTok’s book and offer greater personalization and diversity in the videos it serves to users.

#2: Reels Shopping Will Go Next-level

In 2022, both brands and creators will experience new levels of Instagram Reels shopping.

Instagram’s e-commerce services, such as the Instagram Shop tab, Instagram Checkout, and the ability for brands and creators to tag goods on Instagram Reels, have all gotten a makeover over the last 12 months.

Just like Instagram Stories stickers, we forecast a similar sticker lineup for Reels.

Specifically, the product sticker where brands can tag products from their shop directly on the video – further streamlining the checkout process.

#3: Reels Will Become a Major Part of the Instagram App 

If you thought Instagram couldn’t possibly integrate Instagram Reels any further, guess again!

Although Instagram has already made Reels the focal point of its home page, we’re betting on a more advanced Instagram Reels integration.

With Instagram’s emphasis on video, it’s quite probable that the platform will adopt a Reels-first strategy.

This might suggest that when users initially use the Instagram app, they’ll be presented with the Instagram Reels explore page, with the option to move to the main feed.

In fact, Instagram has already started rolling out a full-screen view for Reels on the home feed, similar to what you see while scrolling TikTok.

As you can see, the majority of the content on this feed is Instagram Reels.

We think there could be a shift in the type of Instagram Reels content users create. We expect to see more in-depth, strategic Reels that support campaigns, launches, and community building.

Reels typically work alongside feed posts and stories as part of a bigger strategy. But, with a change in format, we may begin to see Reels take on the identity of a classic feed post.

#4: The Instagram Reels Aesthetic Will Become More Prominent

Instagram Reels is a whole different vibe than TikTok – it’s less chaotic, more curated.

This is likely because users tend to treat Reels as an extension of their Instagram feed – especially because they can be shared to the feed.

But it’s not only the cover image on the feed that’s aesthetic – it’s the videos themselves. 

We expect users to double down in 2022. Especially because users (and the algorithm) seem to favor this type of content.

There are even accounts exclusively dedicated to helping users edit their Reels to be aesthetically pleasing — talk about meta.

But, just like everything on social media, trends come and go with time – so you have to prepare to pivot.

So, while we expect the Instagram Reels aesthetic to stick around, it might not last forever.

We could even start to see a less-filtered approach working its way onto Reels feed, similar to what we know and love on TikTok. Time will tell.

#5: Reels Will Have a Separate Identity to TikTok 

In the beginning, TikTok trends repurposed for Instagram saw major success. 

Now, Instagram Reels is becoming less of a clone and more of its own entity – especially in the type of content users are sharing.

On TikTok, it’s about creating original content, experimentation, and creating entertaining and educational content. 

On Instagram Reels, the content is currently more trend-centric, with a strong focus on atmospheric video content.

It’s likely that brands and creators will eventually treat TikTok and Reels as two separate platforms with separate content strategies.

If Instagram wants the type of content being shared on the platform to change, introducing new editing tools and features will be a massive help – which brings us to our next 2022 prediction.

#6: New Creative Editing Features and Interactive Filters

There’s no denying that TikTok reigns supreme when it comes to video editing features — you can master transitions, edit individual clips, and even color correct your footage all within TikTok.

The Instagram Reels video editor has some serious catching up to do. 

One quick win which we predict Instagram will release in 2022 is the ability to edit video and photo clips to the beat of the music.

Additionally, we expect to see a rise in interactive filters joining the Reels space.

We’re already seeing tons of AI filters (originally popular on stories) going viral on Reels.

#7: New Incentives for Creators 

We’re expecting to see a serious push in making Instagram Reels the go-to for creators on the platform.

Instagram has already started making in-roads with creators with the Instagram Reels Play bonus program.

Reels Play bonuses let creators earn money directly from Facebook and Instagram for creating content.

Currently, this program is only available to a handful of creators so we expect to see Instagram roll this out to more, if not all, creators in 2022.

We also see the Instagram Collabs tool growing in popularity on Instagram Reels – especially because it’s beneficial for both creators and brands.

If the Collab tool picks up steam (and if Instagram launches additional creator and brand partnership tools) it could be the key to unlocking viral reach for camera-shy brands. 

And that’s it — all our top Instagram Reels predictions for 2022.

In 2022, will you join the Instagram Reels train? We sincerely hope so.

Chibueze Okonmah

Chibueze is the team lead at Thinkdigiads which was founded back in 2016 with the aim of helping small businesses sell their goods and services with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and a speciality in paid advertisement and business strategy. After dropping out of school and left with no choice but to be creative, he started the company which has helped thousands of businesses sell out online and today is a certified Digital Marketing Strategist.

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