Facebook starts testing ads on Instagram Reels

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB ) said on Thursday it will start testing ads on its Instagram Reels feature in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia as the social media giant aims to make money from its short-form video feature.

The company is looking to capitalize on its popularity in India, a fast-growing social media market, while rival TikTok has been banned in the country since last year. Facebook has said it plans to test other features in India, such as allowing content creators to share Reels videos to their Facebook accounts.

The introduction of ads is an “indication of how strong the momentum is for Reels,” Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group, said in an interview. Everson declined to share usage metrics for Reels.

Facebook also announced Thursday that it will allow advertisers to select categories of video content in which they want to place ads, such as videos about children and parenting, animals and pets, or fitness and workouts.

The initiative is Facebook’s biggest move to date to allow brands to advertise alongside content. Advertisers often use Facebook to target certain users based on their interests.

“This is a big deal for marketers,” Everson said.

Facebook added that it will roll out ads for Facebook Stories in the coming weeks. Brands can create ‘stickers’ that the creators will place in their Stories and the ‘influencers’ will get a part of the sales made through these ads.

The feature is part of Facebook’s push to woo content creators who are increasingly making money directly from fans and followers through platforms like audio chat app Clubhouse and membership site Patreon.

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