Report: Instagram Reels Outperformed All Branded Video Content On TikTok, Facebook

Looking at thousands of video posts from branded accounts on leading social-media platforms in 2023, social media-management company Emplifi has released a video performance analysis that puts Instagram Reels on top. 

In terms of driving views for brands over the past year, Instagram Reels -- the platform’s short-form video feature -- outperformed TikTok clips, Facebook Reels and all other branded video content on Instagram, according to the report. For the first time, Emplifi also found that longer Reels are driving more views than shorter Reels, marking a potential shift in consumer viewing habits.

“Not only are Instagram Reels outperforming videos posted on other social media platforms, but they are also the top-performing content type on Instagram, delivering six times the reach of Instagram Stories,” Emplifi says.



Based on its findings, the company suggests that brands readjust their content strategies, pointing out that brands are still posting more Stories than Reels, with the number of Instagram Stories posted by global brands being five times the number of Instagram Reels posted between May and October 2023. 

“When you look at Instagram content specifically, brands continue to use Stories more often than Reels — mostly likely because Stories take less of a lift to create — but Reels are delivering far better results,” says Zarnaz Arlia, CMO at Emplifi. “There are untapped opportunities for the brands that are willing to lean further into their Instagram video strategy and make Reels part of their social media campaigns.” 

In addition, when it comes to driving views on branded accounts, Emplifi found that video length matters on Instagram.

Longer-form Reels gaining 8,372 median views compared to 3,379 views on the same brand’s TikTok account, while TikTok video views remained in the same range regardless of video length. 

“In fact, longer Instagram Reels outperformed all other Reels lengths, with short Reels (under 30 seconds) earning 6,145 median views and medium-length Reels (30- to 90-second) earning a median of 7,830 views,” the report states. 

“This represents a change in user behavior, with more time being spent on videos that run longer than the average 15-second or 30-second video ad format,” says Arlia. “This insight offers an exciting opportunity for brands to reconsider their creative strategy on Instagram. The data shows that audiences are responding positively to longer videos — the key is producing entertaining and valuable content that keeps them watching.”

The shift in user behavior shouldn’t come as a major surprise when looking at Pew Research’s recent “Teens, Social Media and Technology 2023” report, which shows YouTube –– the king of long-form video –– dominating the social video ecosystem, being used by younger consumers more frequently than any other social media platform in 2023.

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