New test brings Reels to Facebook in the US

Facebook in the US is going to look slightly more like TikTok for some users. Today, the company announced that it’s testing Facebook Reels stateside, which will bring the short-form, TikTok-like videos to the platform. These will show up for some users in the News Feed and within Groups, where people can watch them together. (The company is already testing this in India, Mexico, and Canada, and the US limited rollout is just an extension of that test.) As part of this test, Instagram users will also be able to cross-post their reels to Facebook.

People can watch and create reels from the Facebook app, and the feature is designed to give people a way to “express themselves, discover entertaining content, and to help creators broaden their reach.” As justification for the test, Facebook says nearly half of time spent on the app is dedicated to watching videos, and that Reels is growing “especially quickly.”

Of course, the remaining question is whether people will dedicate time to making this type of content, specifically for Facebook. Facebook’s competitors, like Snapchat, have paid people to do so, with Snap at one point spending $1 million per day to incentivize creation for its Spotlight feature. YouTube also announced its Shorts Fund, which will see the company pay out $100 million throughout the next year to creators who make content for its TikTok competitor. Facebook has said it’ll spend $1 billion on Facebook and Instagram creators through 2022, but adds today that it’ll also “roll out additional bonus programs and seed funding” in the coming months, particularly aimed at Facebook Reels. If anything can get people to make content, it’s the promise of a potentially big payout.