At the beginning of August, Instagram launched Reels, a 15-second video feature seen as the app’s challenge to TikTok – and soccer brands are starting to get a feel for the new tool.
A handful of soccer teams both domestic and abroad have begun to toy with the feature, which, like TikTok, provides users with the ability to edit short-form creative videos with a wide variety of new tools, visual effects, audio clips, and songs. Users will see Reels content from accounts they follow in their regular feeds, and curated content in a Reels-specific feed.
The launch of Reels comes at a precarious time for brands who have invested heavily in TikTok content, as President Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban use of the app in the U.S. if the platform isn’t sold by mid-September.
In the opening week of Reels, brands across all industries are seeing how they can successfully leverage the feature to varying but promising degrees of success.
Instagram Reels sees immediate impact for soccer brands
In the world of soccer, global brands like Liverpool and Chelsea are already seeing positive returns on being early adopters. As of the writing of this article, Chelsea have posted 13 videos using Reels. The content, compared to their usual videos on the platform, features quicker and more creative cuts, energetic music, and even has seen them utilize celebrities in the form of an eight-year-old visit from Drake to Stamford Bridge.
Just a cursory glance shows that these videos, for the time being, are greatly over-indexing for Chelsea. While a traditional, in-feed video for the club will garner anywhere from 200,000 to 600,000 views recently, their last seven Reels videos have earned an average of 2.6 million views.
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While it’s too early to extrapolate a reason for the increase in views, two videos posted by the club this week help paint a picture. A regular highlight video of a Pedro goal posted to their feed on Monday morning had 338,000 views. A Reels video of a Pedro goal, equipped with bass-heavy music and text on the screen posted two hours later had amassed 1.8 million views.
They aren’t the only club in England to see a boost in video views thanks to Reels. Liverpool have been posting quick, one-off highlights using the tool since its launch with videos amassing as many as 12 million views in just four days. In just one day, a video showcasing calm defending from Virgil Van Dijk has already earned 6.2 million views via Reels, nearly double the amount the same video got when it was posted in-feed a month ago.
It will be interesting to see the growth of Reels in the wake of TikTok and its status within the U.S. over the next month-and-a-half.
Watch this space!
Categories: Social Media