Instagram shifts away from promoting recycled content on Reels, including TikToks

For Instagram creators, producing content may have just gotten a bit harder. Instagram has confirmed in new guidelines on its @creators account that it’ll no longer promote videos with the TikTok logo in Reels, effectively meaning you’ll need to produce twice as much content if you want the same visibility across Reels and TikTok.

It’s all in the name of promoting quality content on its platform. Since its launch six months ago in the US, Reels has served as a sort of dump where content from other social networks is shared. It’s had nothing like the success Stories saw when it launched in 2016 despite being essentially a Snapchat clone. Reels launched just as TikTok was blowing up, so it sort of makes sense that it got lost in the mix for a lot of users, hence becoming a place where “you can also post fun videos” instead of “the place you post fun videos.”

The TikTok logo, while not blatantly mentioned in the guidelines but fits in the “visibly recycled” category of no-no content, is just one example of the type of red flags Instagram’s algorithm will look for when promoting Reels. According to the post above, too much text, blurry videos, and video borders will also be worthy of suppression. Instead, the company wants creators to focus on content that’s “entertaining and fun,” “inspiring,” “creative,” and obviously based on Instagram’s Reels platform (e.g. use “music from the Instagram music library”).

These changes come after Instagram says it’s surveyed its community to better understand how people interact with Reels. It’s certainly trying to improve what Reels get promoted and which ones don’t, so if you want a chance at making the Explore feed, you’ll probably want to start getting a bit more creative.