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Instagram brings worldwide ads to Reels

Instagram will launch ads Thursday on its short-form video service Reels. Photo courtesy of Instagram
Instagram will launch ads Thursday on its short-form video service Reels. Photo courtesy of Instagram

June 17 (UPI) -- Instagram launched global advertising Thursday on its short-form video TikTok competitor Reels.

The Reels feature launched less than a year ago amid then-President Donald Trump's efforts to ban TikTok, citing privacy concerns. Similar to TikTok, Reels allows users to record and edit 15-second videos made up of multiple clips, including visual effects and other creative tools.

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Instagram's Chief Operating Officer Justin Osofsky told CNBC Thursday the company wanted to test Reels with users before moving onto advertising, but declined to share usage figures.

The advertisements will be full screen and vertical, appearing between individual posts, and running up to 30 seconds, according to CNBC.

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Full screen and vertical advertisements also launched earlier this month on Twitter's disappearing Fleets feature that allows users to tap on profile pictures and see momentary videos, pictures, or comments.

"The breadth of the audience that you can reach and the ability to target ads to reach the right people at the right time in the right format, I think is a real opportunity on Instagram," Osofsky told CNBC.

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Instagram previously tested Reels ads in select markets, including in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia, and also expanded tests to Canada, France, Britain and the United States ahead of the launch worldwide, TechCrunch noted.

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TechCrunch added that brands like BMW, Nestle, Louis Vuitton, Netflix and Uber have been among the first wave to adopt the new format.

The launch of Reels ads comes amid TikTok's rising popularity. TikTok will have more Gen Z users (born between 1997 and 2012) in the United States than Instagram by the end of the year, at 37.3 million compared to Instagram's 33.3 million, according to eMarketer.

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