The algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark, says Instagram


Instagram’s newest guidance for creators makes one thing clear: the platform wants people to stop posting recycled TikToks to Reels. Instagram says it’s making changes to its algorithm and how it recommends Reels to users. Along with that, it’s issuing new best practices on its @creators account to give Instagram users tips on how to make content that’s likely to be seen and promoted. The team now recommends that Reels users post vertical videos that use music found in Instagram’s library or sounds that they find on Reels. They also suggest “starting a trend” that others can participate in. Reels that are mostly covered by text are blurry, have a watermark or logo, or have a border won’t be recommended as frequently. It’s no surprise these recommendations are coming six months after Reels launched in the US. The platform might have been okay with people initially bringing their TikToks over to Instagram, but as it looks to become a popular destination on its own, Instagram needs to make sure Reels isn’t just an advertisement for TikTok, or worse, a place where people just dump whatever content they’ve already made.

TikTok now has access to Universal Music’s ‘full catalogue’ of artists

TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG) have announced the formation of what they’re calling an “expanded global alliance.” It’s a continuation and deepening of the agreement that allows TikTok’s massive user base to use songs from UMG artists. “The companies have additionally pledged to experiment with exciting new features,” the companies write in a press release. “TikTok users will now be able to incorporate clips from UMG’s full catalog of music, spanning the company’s iconic labels, songwriters and global territories.” It’s a smart move. TikTokers get to use more of the music they love as the soundtrack for their videos, the artists behind the works get paid, and UMG gets greater access to a proven viral hit-making machine. For better or for worse, TikTok is one of the biggest drivers of breakout hits online. It’s also a sign that the music industry is recognizing that online influencers matter to their bottom lines. The UMG deal follows other deals with major sectors of the music industry.