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Why the confusion about IG reels and the algorithm... and isn't it better to do short videos?

The confusion about Instagram Reels started because when Instagram was trying to compete with TikTok, still is, obviously, and and obviously trying to also compete with YouTube shorts and with Twitter videos. Instagram said, We gotta we gotta promote short form videos because TikTok is eating our business. And so they started to prioritize the algorithm to show short videos, whether that's short stories or what they started calling reels, which are which used to be under I think I think originally, reels were under 15 seconds, and then they expanded to be under 60 seconds, and and then they expanded to be under 90 seconds. And guess what? Now if you use MetaCreator Studio and you upload a video and it's under to Instagram.
You you use MetaCreative Studio. You upload a video, and it's under 15 minutes. And MetaCreative Studio says, hey. Guess what? It's under 50 minutes.
We're gonna turn into a real. Automatically. I'm like, okay. Whatever. You know?
And so that's why everyone's freaking confused by George is a real under 90 seconds now, 60 seconds, and I'll I'll be I'll let me ask you the question since you're watching this video and you're interested in Instagram, tell me this, where do you go watch reels? I mean, you know where to go look at stories. You click on the little circles right at the top of the screen. But where do you go watch reels? You might say, well, George, I go to someone's profile and I click on the reels tab.
Really? Does anyone really do that? No. I mean, a few. I'm sure.
Most of us just Open Instagram. And then we just scroll on Instagram. We don't maybe we click on the Simplero tab because there's some you know, a nice grid of, like, really interesting pictures or whatever, fine. Okay? But most of us just scroll Instagram and then it shows us whatever shows us.
We don't, like, consciously think, this is a real. I'm gonna watch that. This is a longer video than a real. I'm not gonna watch that. Not really.
I mean, we just watch the video And if it's interesting, we keep watching it. And so I'll tell you what the algorithm is really doing. Okay? I mean, I know a little bit about the Okay. So the algorithm shows you what you engage with.
The bottom line. And what do you engage with? The videos you engage with are the videos you keep watching. You you you stay on the video, especially if you unmute it. And you're listening to sound.
Instagram notices, oh, you you unmuted that. That's an engagement point right there. Okay. You kept watching. You didn't keep scrolling.
The longer you you watch it, the more engagement points, the creator gets with you, the more when I say engagement points, I mean, just in the back end. They're calculating they're the the the robots are calculating these scores automatically. Like, oh, oh, Jessica, you're watching GeorgeKao video pretty long today. Well, next GeorgeKao video, we're gonna be sure to show it to you quick more quickly on when you're scrolling Instagram next time because this is proof that you're engaging with this creator, and we wanna keep you here on Instagram. So the longer you watch a video the more the algorithm notices.
And so there's these 2 metrics with in with not just Instagram video, YouTube videos everywhere. There's 2 metrics One is total watch time, and the 2nd metric is total watch percentage. And that's true for That's true for you and the creator. Every single did you notice? There's not one algorithm on Instagram.
Okay? There are 1,000,000,000 of algorithms. Jessica, you have an algorithm with me as a creator. That's different from the algorithm that that Mike has with me as Mike Mike's consumption of my videos and your consumption of my videos are 2 different algorithms. And Instagram will very cleverly.
This is why, you know, this is why they're so successful. Right? Like, it will cleverly know, oh, Mike doesn't watch George's videos. But Mike loves GeorgeKao Carousel post, show Mike George's Carousel post, and hide George's videos from Mike in the home feed just because Mike doesn't get we notice But Jessica loves watching George's videos, but she doesn't scroll George's carousel feet. So the the post so, hi, GeorgeKao.
It's a separate algorithm. So anyway, long story short, what do we actually do then? I mean, what what you care about is, GeorgeKao this is a lot of technical detail, but I just wanna know how do I get my videos showing more people? Okay. That's all I wanna know, George.
Make videos that resonate more with your ideal viewer. I know this sounds so urgent. George, what are you talking? I am taking a class for this, but that's true. But that's true.
You you gotta notice which what what does that practically mean is you make a bunch of videos, and then you notice which of your videos gets more engagement and you make more videos like that. And you notice which videos get less engagement and you make less videos like that. If you wanna get more specific, Right? I'm gonna be teaching a a a class specifically about video mastery where we study the retention graphs of videos. What does that mean?
That just means, hey. Notice Jessica that at 4 seconds in, there's a bunch of drop off. The The first four seconds was fine. They were watching, watching, and then suddenly a bunch of drop off. Let's study what happened at the 3rd and the 4th second because they got really bored at that point.
We're gonna we're gonna study that. We're gonna study that one of my upcoming courses, video mastery. Oh, and notice there was another drop off point at the 29 second mark. What happened? Let's study.
Oh, you did that. Sorry. I'm not gonna judge everyone's expressions, but I'm gonna judge my own ex You did that weird expression, George, and suddenly people drop to stop making that expression. Or you said this this complicated term and you thought it was cool to say that term, but there's a drop off. It's just data.
Do you want to do you want to study that or not? It's up to you. Do you want to use that data? You say GeorgeKao, I like making that expression. Because it's authentic to me.
Don't keep making that expression. Don't don't worry about the retention graphs. But but, George, you're right. That term, I the the thing I said, I don't have to say that. I could say something else different instead.
Or, hey, notice this point, there was a little uptick in retention. Let's study that those couple seconds and go, Did you do something? Did you do Oh, you did this with your hands? Is that authentic to you? Do that more often then.
Right? Oh, did you lean forward? And that's why they kept Do that does that authentic to you? Do that more often. Anyway, that is the secret of how do I get more distribution in my videos.
My people go, well, I have to put I have to put words layered on top of my thing, like like words and and interesting graphics layered on top. How do you know that? You're you're making guesses, or are you studying the retention graphs? Because if you're just making guesses, you're just doing extra work for no reason. Possibly.
Right? Are you making some intuitive guess fine? Okay. But it's not you know, any anyway, so so So basically, you either make better videos by studying retention graphs, which we're gonna do together in a in a in a course if you wanna do it together and more motivational. But Secondly, you could also run ads on your videos to your warm audience.
Don't run ads to a cool audience because you'll get a bunch of bots and stuff following you. But run video ads to warm audience and that will ensure more retention. So those are really my 2. And then the third strategy is collapse with other influencers, other creators, who have an audience that you would like to reach. Those are the 3 basic strategies for how to get more reach.
It's not, hey, make it under 60 seconds or 90 seconds because you you can make boring 60 second videos that people don't care about or boring ninety second videos people don't care. And you could make really interesting 14 minute videos that people care about, and you don't have to do much editing because you learned what's both authentic to you and powerful for the audience. So anyway, that's it. Thanks for watching.
Last updated 9 May 2024.