Facebook Reels launches worldwide for iOS and Android alongside new features

Similar to Instagram Reels, Facebook is launching its own take on the feature first influenced by TikTok, outside of the USA from today (February 22), rolling out to 150 countries, including the UK.

In a blogpost, Facebook is also announcing features to help creators earn money from the reels that they create, alongside reels that can last for up to 60 seconds, and more features to come.

Facebook Reels launched in the USA back in September 2021, with users being able to access short videos from friends and pages, all in one section.

But the elephant in the room is to wonder where Instagram fits in this, and whether Facebook Reels has a place alongside TikTok, Snapchat and others.

New features also arrive

Alongside the ability to create 60-second reels, you can also create remixes of existing reels that others have created. This works similar to duets on TikTok, where you can use an existing video to showcase your reactions or respond to the original video.

If you're midway through making a new Reel and you need to pause, a new 'save to draft' option can help you pick off where you left off later in the day.

There's also going to be ways to share your Reels through Stories, alongside a dedicated Reels label at the top of the Facebook app to make it easier for users to find other videos.

Finally, ways to monetize Reels are slowly arriving, such as an upcoming feature called Stars, which is a way to 'tip' creators while a live Reel is ongoing.

Facebook Reels in action on iOS

(Image credit: Meta)

Reels looks to mimic what's made TikTok so successful so far. Instagram Reels has seemingly done well for Meta, but Instagram Stories is still its shining jewel.

Time will tell whether having two types of Reels from Meta will be worth having, but for now, better features with a worldwide rollout could help Facebook pivot to video in a better way, compared to its previous efforts of Facebook Live and Facebook Video feeds.

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Microsoft says its ads now reach a billion people worldwide

Microsoft has achieved a major milestone after its ad network – spread across Bing, Outlook.com, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, and other properties – reached one billion people last year. 

The news comes via MediaPost, which cites Microsoft internal data and ComScore as evidence of the huge reach of the company's ad business. 

According to Microsoft, many of the viewers are “overlapping audiences” – the term used for when an audience member uses multiple properties or services from the company at once. As such, 64% of US Windows users also visited a Microsoft service in Q3 2021. 

How did we get here?

You might be wondering how Microsoft has somehow managed to create an ad business that compares to Google and Facebook and the answer is essentially that Microsoft has been plugging away for a long time to get here. 

Back in 2006, Microsoft struck a deal with Facebook to supply ad inventory to the growing service, giving the former much-needed eyeballs and letting Facebook focus on growing its service. 

The success of MSN.com has also played a role. According to Alexa.com, MSN.com records an average of 40 million daily visits, ranking 59th in the world. The news service, which often aggregates others, outranks CNN.com by this metric. 

Microsoft also recently acquired AT&T's programmatic ad marketplace Xandr, suggesting the company's ambitions are extensive. 

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