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Facebook Tests Rooms UI and New Reels in Stories Panel

Facebook testing new Reels and Rooms UI.
New Reels and Rooms UI being integrated in FB stories panel

In order to combat the ever-increasing popularity of the app TikTok, Facebook may soon integrate a new Reels clips display directly into the Facebook app. This is a part of its efforts to boost Instagram Reels exposure.  An image, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, shows how Facebook is currently testing an alternative feed display option for the top of feed Stories panel.

This would give users the option to view either Story, Instagram Reels clips, or in-progress video and audio rooms. Facebook’s new audio rooms are currently in live testing with select creators and groups, but it would most significantly increase exposure for Instagram Reels since Reels content would appear at the top of the Facebook app, which is used by 2.85 billion people monthly.

Billions of active social media users:

While Instagram and TikTok have billions of active users each, many Facebook users do not use either social media platform.

As such, this can be a great way for Facebook’s to boost interest in Reels by exposing a range of new audiences to the option, which could subsequently lead to an increase in engagement, and interest in Reels overall. In an effort to prevent users from switching to TikTok, Facebook has been doing everything in its power to make Reels as big as possible within the app.

It’s also working on improving the Reels algorithm, and developing a new payment program for top Reels creators, which looks similar to Snapchat’s Spotlight payment program.

Facebook’s hidden potential:

The real ace up Facebook’s sleeve here is its exposure potential, and therefore, its monetization potential. As long as Instagram can expand its exposure to Facebook users as well as TikTok users (though this might not be possible for too long), that would be an incredible opportunity for users looking to build followings.

Despite Facebook testing Reels recommendations in Facebook Watch and user feeds since late last year, this experiment, which is not yet in live testing, would be a major step forward. Facebook is also developing a new feature called Reels.

Neither of these options has been released yet, and both are in the early experimental stages. In any case, it’s intriguing to see how Facebook is working to develop Reels, as it continues to develop ways to fend off competition from TikTok.

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