Meta’s Facebook escalates TikTok rivalry, launches Reels globally

Meta Platforms, Reels, Facebook, TikTok rivalry, short-video product, social-media, Mark Zuckerberg

BY SALVADOR RODRIGUEZ | UPDATED FEB 22, 2022 12:00 PM EST

Social-media giant, facing a number of business challenges, also introduces many new features for advertisers

Meta Platforms Inc. ramped up its counterattack against TikTok by launching its short-video product Reels for all global Facebook users on Tuesday and introducing many new features for advertisers.

In one of a number of business challenges facing the social-media giant, Meta is in the midst of an intensifying battle with TikTok, which was the most-downloaded app of 2021 and overtook Instagram in popularity among coveted young users.

Meta has also been buffeted by the impact of a privacy feature introduced by Apple Inc. last year that disrupted its digital-advertising business. Since Meta’s Feb. 2 earnings report, in which it highlighted these issues, the company’s market value has fallen by more than $300 billion.

On the earnings call, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced that Reels has become Meta’s fastest-growing content format by far, even as he acknowledged TikTok as a formidable competitor.

Mr. Zuckerberg also noted that as more users spend time on Reels, they are spending less time on Meta’s Feed and Stories formats, which currently generate more ad revenue.

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