Instagram is quickly closing the gap between its platform and TikTok, as part of its ongoing plot to swallow the politically-struggling video app whole.
The Meta-owned platform launched a few new features for Instagram Reels creators on April 14, including new metrics, gifts, and a space designed for users to “find inspiration” through trending audio and hashtags.
“We strive to make Instagram a home for creators like you to express your creativity, connect with your audience and earn a living,” Meta said in a blog post about the announcement. “Today we’re announcing improvements to Reels — to empower you to do what you do best.”
Creators can now see the top trending songs and audio on Reels, along with analytics for how many times the audio has been used. This is a feature that TikTok has had for some time and has potentially led to the success (or lack thereof) of musicians and songs on the app. To find trending audio on Instagram Reels, creators navigate to their professional dashboard and scroll down to “Reels Trends,” and will be served all of the top audio and hashtags. For instance today, on April 16, the top audio on Instagram Reels is “What It Is (Block Boy)” by Doechii with 25,500 reels, and the top hashtag is #coachella, with 5.2 million reels.
Along with the top trending songs and audio, users and creators will now be able to see the top trending topics and hashtags — important tools for creators to be able to reach out to a wider audience. Creators can also edit video clips, audio, stickers, and text on a newly unified editing screen, and they have access to total watch time, average watch time, the number of new followers you received as a result of your reels, and which fans have sent you gifts, all of which are metrics that were previously unavailable to creators. Many of those tools were already available on the app’s competitor, TikTok.
Instagram has been moving to overtake TikTok since the ByteDance-owned platform first gained traction in the U.S., so this is nothing new. But this comes at a time in which TikTok is struggling to fight bans. Lawmakers from governments across the globe have implemented various bans on the app due to fears that TikTok is giving user data to the Chinese government.