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Instagram Offers Insights for Reels, Live

·2 min read

Instagram will be making new insights available for Reels short-form videos and its livestreaming feature Live, the company announced Monday.

“Based on feedback from creators and businesses, today we’re launching insights for Reels and Live,” the Facebook-owned company explained on its blog. “We have been inspired by the ways our community has embraced these content formats and want to make sure creators and businesses can understand how their content is performing.”

More from WWD

According to the company, the metrics cover accounts reached, comments and shares, with Reels insights including the number of plays, likes and saves, while the Live tool adds peak concurrent views. Businesses will also get a better idea of how their videos perform over time.

The numbers will live inside Account Insights, alongside another feature offering detailed information about reach: “We know that understanding more about how content is being distributed is important, so we’ve built new breakdowns that provide transparency into which types of accounts you’re reaching and which content formats are the most effective at driving reach,” Instagram added.

For businesses that want data that goes back further, preset time limits are also expanding, stretching beyond the previous seven and 30 days, and Account Insights — previously available on mobile only — will soon support desktop access.

The updates will be available “over the coming months.”

Altogether, the changes aim to make the case that Insta’s videos can be useful, data-driven tools for businesses, not just fun features or flash-in-the-pan rivals to beat back the likes of TikTok or YouTube. And it gets to contribute to the parent company’s main narrative of serving small shops and indie creators.

So if it seems like Instagram is making a concerted effort to take their videos from flights of fancy to real business tools, that’s because it is.

But that may be a tough case to make since it’s not clear what the traction for Reels and Live is right now. Instagram declined to share current figures in response to a WWD request, but instead pointed to 2020 numbers — which weren’t for Reels and Live specifically, but for Facebook and Instagram Live. They nabbed more than 800 million daily active users, as of April 2020, and Instagram Live views grew more than 70 percent in the U.S. during March 2020, as lockdowns got underway.

Health restrictions are lifting, however. While that will surely usher in a flood of real-time, snackable videos for Reels and live, “as-you-see-it” streams — since creators will be able to hold events or just generally get out and about — it could also mean something else: a less captive audience.