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NEW DELHI : Instagram is fast evolving from an urban-centric photo sharing platform to an entertainment destination as its short video feature Reels gains popularity among content creators and brands. Big brands such as Samsung, Oyo Rooms, Myntra, Nykaa, and Netflix are also leveraging Reels, apart from numerous small businesses, to connect with users.

Instagram parent Facebook has allowed Indian creators to share their content of Reels on Facebook accounts resulting in higher visibility and reach. The move aims to boost Reels in scale. Instagram Reels, launched in July 2020, has picked up in a big way especially among brands across fashion and lifestyle, beauty, personal care, food and beverages and travel categories. Instagram said that videos make up for over a third of posts on its platform in India with two out of the five songs most shared globally on Reels being from Indian artistes.

“Reels is the future of entertainment on Instagram, and the traction we’re seeing for it in India is incredible," said Sandeep Bhushan, director and head, global marketing solutions, Facebook India.

Reels, according to Instagram, provides a great opportunity for creators and brands to be discovered on dedicated surfaces, Reels tab and in Explore section. Brands can work with influencers to create content or their own Reels content, which trends on Instagram, increasing their chance to be discovered. Reels is free.

“Brands are jumping on the Reels bandwagon because of the potential to engage and be discovered. The best brands now feature trending content and are also tapping into popular challenges in ways that are unique and authentic to their brand," said Bhushan.

Jaipur-based ethnic brand ‘Aachho’ is working with influencers to showcase their Spring Summer Collection 2021 through Reels. Netflix is leveraging popular content creators to promote its various shows.

With Reels being expanded on Facebook, advertiser interest and investments will spike as more people can see branded content. Recently, data shared by Indian government showed that Facebook has almost double the number of users (410 million) than Instagram (210 million) in India.

Shradha Agarwal, COO and strategy head, Grapes Digital, an integrated communications agency, said brands are likely to adopt a duplication strategy simply sharing Instagram Reels on Facebook and wait and watch for results.

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