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Instagram Tests New Add Topics Option in the Reels Upload Process

Instagram is wanting out another solution to refine its Reels recommendations, with some users now in a position to add topics with their Reels uploads, to be able to better categorize their clips.

Instagram Reels add topics

As you can plainly see in this image, posted by user Jacki Pitkow (and shared by Matt Navarra), the brand new Topics option aims to assist you reach other users who share your interests.

Which could provide another method for Instagram to showcase your articles to a far more engaged, interested audience, that could help to increase your Reels performance, and assist you to connect to more those who are thinking about your brand/content.

It might also help Instagram refine its Reels recommendation systems, that is a key focus for the app at the moment.

Instagram, needless to say, really wants one to watch more Reels, which explains why youre constantly seeing Reels inserted into every part of the app.

After all, it has scaled this back a bit, after users got frustrated by its initial Reels flood. But however, with Reels already taking on 20% ever spent in the app, and rising, Instagram is quite keen showing users more Reels content, based increasingly on AI recommendations, as a way to increase engagement and fight competition for attention from TikTok.

But as Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri notes, it hasnt exercised its recommendations engine at this time:

Once you discover something in your feed that you didn’t follow before, there must be a higher bar you have to be delighted to view it. And I don’t believe thats happening enough at this time.

Delighted is definitely a higher bar, specifically for an app like Instagram, which, so far, has required explicit user input to define their house feed. Now, Instagrams attempting to go the TikTok route, but whether it could actually do it’ll drop to two key questions:

  1. Can Instagram actually create an algorithmic recommendations system thats on par with TikTok, that is increasingly proficient at identifying user interests, and re-aligning its FOR YOU PERSONALLY around them instantly?
  2. Do Instagram users actually want that?

The initial boils down to how well IG can identify objects and elements in each video, then align them to user interests. TikToks system is great at entity detection, which, really, may be the secret sauce of the app.

However the second is probable a more impressive challenge while people might find yourself spending additional time watching Reels, because Instagram is wedging them into every gap and free space that it could find in the app, that doesnt indicate that theyre enjoying them.

You can find likely two camps here you might be the individuals who won’t download TikTok, and who like Reels because, in their mind, its a brand new, fast undertake video trends. Another would be individuals who do use TikTok, and who largely dont like seeing Instagram are more and more just like the short-form video app.

The Venn diagram of the groups will probably define Instagrams success in any event, though it can seem sensible that, if it could get its recommendations right, which could help facilitate more Reels take-up.

Which explains why its searching for more markers, more indicators, more signals that it could use to refine its recommendation algorithms to create Reels probably the most compelling TikTok alternative that it could be.

While at exactly the same time, it is possible to bet that Metas army of lobbyists are bending ears in Washington, calling for more regulatory action to be studied contrary to the Chinese-owned app.

On balance, I dont believe that Instagram can catch TikTok in this respect – but if TikTok were suddenly from the picture, it might end up being the best option to take its place

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