It’s only been a few months since Meta laid off 11,000 employees, but the tech giant is showing signs of progress. It beat Wall Street projections during Q2 2023, and one of the highlights of its quarter was the growth of Reels. According to the most recent data, Meta’s answer to TikTok gets 200 billion daily views across Facebook and Instagram.
That figure represents a marked increase over last October, when Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said that Reels had reached 140 billion daily views. During Meta’s Q2 2023 earnings call, Zuckerberg cheered the financial returns Reels have generated. He put the format’s “annual revenue run rate” — i.e. the projection of its yearly revenue — at $10 billion.
Meta’s Reels earnings rival those of TikTok. According to Insider Intelligence, the latter video service pulled in $9.9 billion of revenue in 2022. The same firm projected that TikTok will reach $13.2 billion in ad revenue this year. TikTok typically stays quiet about the total viewership across its platform. YouTube Shorts reached 50 billion daily views earlier this year.
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The rapid growth of Reels has been driven by the format’s growing ad infrastructure and Meta’s recommendation algorithms. “We can show Reels that we think you’re interested in based on our discovery engines,” said Meta Head of Online Sales, Operations, and Partnerships Justin Osofsky in an interview with Reuters.
Naysayers could argue that the main factor contributing to the growth of Reels is Meta’s prioritization of the format. Reels receive strong internal support, but their rising popularity around the globe suggests that Meta is betting on the right horse. Despite Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian’s pleas for a return to Instagram’s photo-centric era, Adam Mosseri might have been right: Like them or not, short-form videos are the future.