Instagram hatched the perfect plan to promote Reels – create a massive payout, get creators to build as much content as they can, get users hooked to the feature, then cut the payments by about 70%!
While I was not there when Instagram decision-makers drew their Reels strategy, it clearly worked as it has become the platform’s most used feature. Now, people spend lesser time on their TL and more on the Reels section.
The feature had been built as TikTok’s direct competition, and since the ByteDance-owned service was already a powerful force to reckon with, Meta, Instagram’s parent company, lured creators with the promise of rewards.
In no time, social media users found themselves switching back-and-forth between TikTok and Reels to stay entertained.
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According to Meta’s announcement, the company set apart a total of $1 billion for creators in 2022. When the going was cushy, The Verge claimed that payouts ranged from about $600 to $35,000. However, even at that time, seasoned online content creators were skeptical about the Reels Play Bonus Program because there was no detail on how payments were determined.
This loop gave Instagram the room to change the way payments were reached and what goals creators had to reach. For example, one creator said that 58 million views used to be enough for her to earn $35,000, but now, you only make that kind of money if you garner 359 million views.
Meta explained that the company was trying out the bonuses on its other social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, in response to the complaints. Industry experts predict that the change could discourage creators, making them shun the service altogether.
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