So Snapchat was the pioneer of “stories” before every other platform copied it into their own form. Even Whatsapp pivoted it into “status” amongst others. Well, there’s another entrant into this group of brands and it’s YouTube. They have launched Reels, their own version of stories, and to be fair, it’s not an exact copy.
According to a blog post from Google, “We want to do even more to give you easy ways to express yourself and engage with fans, so today we’re also unveiling a new feature. Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular “stories” format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators.”
“We learned that you want the flexibility to create multiple Reels and have them not expire, so we’ll give you those options. We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers. Just like we did with Community, we’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators.”
The company has explained that the idea with Reels is to introduce a new video format on YouTube. This new format would enable creators express themselves and engage fans without having to post a full video. I think it’d come in handy for a whole lot of creators on the YouTube platform.
So how does Reel work? Creators make new Reels by shooting a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each, then adding filters, music, text and more, including new “YouTube-y” stickers. This is surely not like Stories on other platforms, as YouTube creators can make multiple Reels and they won’t expire after 24 hours.
I think Snapchat was really on point with this innovation, and set a trend that everyone just had to follow. Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp and now, YouTube all have their own form of “stories”. It is only such innovations that can keep them in this game they seem to be losing.