Has TikTok left Facebook reeling?

With the announcement of Facebook launching ‘Reels’ to try and steal back some of the audience it has lost to TikTok, Poke’s Marketing Executive Mollyann Kyte looks at whether Facebook has left it too late to try and topple the new kid on the block…

Meta has recently released Facebook reels, heading for battle with TikTok. 

After claiming their other competitors under their wing and making them part of ‘Meta’, what will they do now that another platform is rising through the ranks? 

Facebook and TikTok are two of the world’s biggest social media platforms. With TikTok being the fastest growing and most downloaded app worldwide, it is now the most popular social media platform of all time. The timing of lockdown massively contributed to TikTok’s success, allowing it the time to grow faster than any of the other competitors Facebook had, meaning Facebook was no longer on the front foot. Nonetheless, Facebook still follows closely behind, being an extremely popular platform, with 2.7 billion active users and owning the throne for ‘top social media platform’ for 10 years. 

Despite TikTok’s quick rise to fame, Meta isn’t going to sit back and watch an app, developed only 6 years ago, overtake them without a fight.

Now introducing Facebook reels, they are on the rise to take over, with a whole different audience compared to TikTok. Targeting an audience of 16-24 year olds, TikTok is aimed predominantly at the social media natives, Gen Z. In comparison to Facebook, who are targeting 25-35 year olds, still a go-to platform for the millennials.

Does TikTok simply have too big of an army to be overtaken by Facebook?

Interestingly, maybe not. 

Even though TikTok is the world’s fastest-growing app, Facebook still has the most active users and a bigger outreach to more than one audience. It is used by older and younger generations, worldwide. 

The new ‘reels’ feature will allow millenials to enjoy the creative and innovative content that short video form offers, on a platform they are familiar with. Facebook also has an advantage in terms of having the ‘better version’ of TikTok’s creator fund. 

The creator fund supports creators, rewarding their community by allowing them to earn money doing what they love and turn their passion into livelihood. Although, you can’t currently distribute ads to specific clips on TikTok, limiting creator’s earnings. And while TikTok is looking to counter this by adding more benefits to the creator fund and facilitating brand partnerships, none of these options provide the same money-making possibilities that Facebook is now offering.

Nevertheless, Facebook could be too late. Is TikTok already too far ahead?

There is the possibility of Facebook introducing the older generation to TikTok. Turning the popular social media platform, even more popular. Millennial audience’s are already getting creative on TikTok, going viral for their individuality. This new feature could be the start of the switch over for Facebook’s audience. 

Having the same features, including drafts, the ability to film longer videos and filters, they might as well be the same thing! A likely outcome, like Instagram reels and Snapchat’s ‘spotlight’ is that they will become a platform for users to post TikTok videos on.

Both platforms have their advantages and disadvantages which could suggest that it could swing either way. Facebook can offer some benefits that TikTok simply can’t. But, TikTok also has some of the worlds biggest celebrities now under their wing, and offers simplicity and the opportunity to go viral. It is becoming second nature to people to scroll through TikTok during their lunch breaks, after school or whenever they have the time. It would now take a lot to make people’s heads turn away from TikTok. 

Overall TikTok is here to stay and has pushed its way to the top of the game where it seems to be sitting very comfortably, forcing a platform like Facebook to rethink its entire strategy. After captivating the attention of so many young people and becoming the new replacement for Vine (RIP), it has worked too hard to be overtaken by Facebook Reels.