SAN FRANCISCO: Meta-owned Instagram is struggling to woo creators as its short-video making Reels engagement falls against a formidable competition that is coming from its Chinese rival TikTok.
An internal Meta document accessed by The Wall Street Journal shows that Instagram users are spending 17.6 million hours watching Reels daily -- less than a tenth when compared to 197.8 million hours users spend on TikTok a day.
The report, published in August, claimed that Reels engagement had fallen 13.6 percent over the last four weeks, and "most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever".
Among the key reasons is that Instagram has struggled to recruit people to make the right kind of content and the lack of original content on Reels.
"Roughly 11 million creators are on the platform in the US, but only about 2.3 million of them, or 20.7 per cent, post on that platform each month," according to the document.
A Meta spokesperson, however, said that Reels engagement currently is up on a month-to-month basis.
"We still have work to do. But creators and businesses are seeing promising results, and our monetisation growth is faster than we expected as more people are watching, creating and connecting through Reels than ever before," the company spokesperson added.
To attract people to make content for Instagram and Facebook, Meta has earmarked $1 billion for creator payouts through the end of the year.
Instagram Reels creators have received a total of $120 million to date.
Reports surfaced last month that threatened by the meteoric rise of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube have introduced new features to discourage their short-video app users from cross-platform sharing.
When creators now make a video on YouTube Shorts, they will not be able to download the video and cross-post it to other apps without a "YouTube watermark".
"If you're a creator who downloads your Shorts from YouTube Studio to share across other platforms, you'll now find a watermark added to your downloaded content," YouTube said in an update.