Zuck’s Misfire: Instagram Copied China’s TikTok but Falls Miserably Behind

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram

Facebook’s Instagram is struggling to compete with China’s TikTok in the short-form video content realm despite the roll-out of its “Reels” feature. According to internal company documents, the daily watch time of Reels is less than 10 percent of the time spent watching videos on the the massively popular China-owned platform.

The Daily Mail reports that Instagram is betting big on the popularity of its new short-form video feature, called “Reels,” in an attempt to take on the current king of online video — the Chinese-owned platform TikTok.

Shouzi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

TikTok video app

TikTok video app (AFP/Getty)

But internal documents have revealed that Instagram has an extremely long way to go to compete with TikTok. Recent data showed that Instagram users are cumulatively spending 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, which is less than one-tenth of the 197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day on the platform.

The document was titled “Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,” and was published internally by Instagram in August. The document stated that Reels engagement had fallen by 13.6 percent over the previous four weeks and that “most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.”

One reason for the issue appeared to be the company’s struggle to recruit creators to make content specifically for Reels. The report counted 11 million creators on the platform in the U.S. but only around 2.3 million of them, or 20.7 percent, post on that platform each month.

In July, Breitbart News reported on high profile social media stars including Kim Kardashian pleading with Mark Zuckerberg to stop copying TikTok.

Sisters Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian criticized Facebook’s Instagram on Monday, urging the social media platform to stop mimicking its competitor, the Chinese-owned TikTok.

Jenner, who has 361 million followers on Instagram, and Kardashian, who has 326 million followers on the platform, shared an Instagram Story Monday, which read, “Make Instagram Instagram Again.”

“Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone,” the post added.

A spokesperson for Facebook (now known as Meta) stated: “We still have work to do, but creators and businesses are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than we expected as more people are watching, creating and connecting through Reels than ever before.”

Read more at the Daily Mail here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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