What on earth are “Reels”?

By | March 21, 2022
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I don’t know if you use Facebook?  Apparently most of us do.  I was curious so I had a look, and nearly 45 million people in the UK use Facebook!  That’s a lot of people.

And since Facebook want to keep all of us happily using their service rather than looking elsewhere, they keep adding bits and pieces. Some of the things they add are fairly obvious, but to be honest I just ignore most of them.

The newest little gimmick to pop up on my Facebook app is called “Reels”.  It appears in my newsfeed, tucked in amongst all the posts from my friends and the (seemingly ever increasing) adverts and sponsored posts.  And it’s a whole load of really short video snippets that people have recorded.

It started on Instagram, apparently, which is the same company as Facebook now.  I guess they’re supposed to be Facebook’s answer to TikTok.  It certainly works in the same way.  If you tap on one of them in the Facebook app, it takes you onto a different screen, and you can move from one of these “Reels” to the next by swiping up on the screen.  I’ve never gone in for it myself, but I’ve heard it can get quite addictive, just swiping through these videos.

The whole thing just feels a bit weird to me.  If I’m going to watch something, I usually want more than a twenty-second clip.  But maybe I’m just a bit old-fashioned like that.

Anyway, if you see these “Reels” popping up on your Facebook newsfeed, that’s what they are.  Feel free to have a look, but there are some very random things on there – in the two or three minutes I spent on it this morning I saw everything from Sylvester Stalone musing on the nature of life to a kid watching Buzz Lightyear drive past on a carnival float.  As I say, it’s a bit odd.  I don’t really get the attraction.

Also feel free to completely ignore them.  You’re not really missing much.

Julie Wakeling

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