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Meta officially rolls out Facebook Reels to users across Africa


Last week we reported that Meta had launched Reels on Facebook for users in Africa. This is after we spotted the feature from our Facebook News Feed. The company had not issued an official statement about the rollout and now, they just did.

Meta announced on Tuesday that it is expanding the availability of  Facebook Reels for iOS and Android to more than 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to this launch Reels was available on Facebook in India, Mexico, Canada, the U.S, and is now it will be available across sub-Saharan Africa in: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, Seychelles, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria, Namibia, Mali, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Guinea, Ghana, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Burkina Faso.

Just like Instagram Reels launched in August last year to take on TikTok, Facebook Reels allows users to make and share short, captivating videos. Even while it was once derided as a “TikTok rip-off,” Instagram Reels has now won over influencers, brands, and everyday users alike. Before sharing a Reel, you can edit and trim clips to your desired length, or add effects, stickers and text. You’ll have access to a variety of creative editing tools, including Audio that lets you add a song from the Facebook music library, or use your own original audio. Your original audio is attributed to you and can be used by the Facebook community to create their Reels.

“We’ve seen that video now accounts for almost all of the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram, and Reels is our fastest growing content format by far. This is why we’re focused on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered, connect with their audience and earn money. We also want to make it fun and easy for people to find and share relevant and entertaining content.”  Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa at Meta said.

Making Money With Facebook Reels

Meta also announced that is creating a variety of opportunities for creators to earn money for their reels through the Reels Play bonus program. The program is part of Meta’s $1 billion creator investment and pays eligible creators up to $35,000 a month based on the views of their qualifying reels. In the coming months, Meta says the bonus program will be extended to more countries, so more creators can get rewarded for creating reels that their communities love.

As part of the launch Meta is also launching brand suitability controls, including Publisher Lists, Blocklists, Inventory Filters and Delivery Reports for Banner and Sticker Ads in Facebook Reels in every region they are available, giving advertisers more control over how their ads appear in places they don’t consider suitable for their brand or campaign. Additionally, Meta has been testing full-screen and immersive ads in between Facebook Reels since October of last year, and will roll them out to more places around the world over the coming months. Just like with organic content on Facebook, people can comment, like, view, save, share and skip them.

Upcoming updates on Reels

Over the coming weeks, Meta will also be rolling out some new updates on Reels to make it easier to create and discover reels in new places. The updates include:

  • Reels in Stories: You can share public reels to Stories on Facebook, making it easy to share favourite reels with friends and giving creators more visibility and reach. You’ll also be able to create reels from existing public stories.
  • Reels in Watch: You’ll be able to watch reels directly within the Watch tab and we’re developing tools to help you create reels in the Watch tab as well.
  • Top of Feed: We’re adding a new Reels label at the top of Feed so you’ll be able to easily create and watch reels in just a few clicks.
  • Suggested Reels in Feed: In select countries, we’re starting to suggest reels that you may like in your Feed from people you do not already follow.

Meta is also exploring ways to make it easier for creators to share Reels to both their Facebook and Instagram audiences, such as cross posting.

You can find Facebook Reels in Feed, Groups and Watch. When viewing a reel, you can follow the creator directly from the video, like and comment on it or share it with friends.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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