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Instagram looking to entice TikTok influencers for its Reels platform

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Instagram looking to entice TikTok influencers for its Reels platform

Mark Zuckerberg is throwing money at some of the most popular content creators for rival TikTok in a bid to build buzz for a new copycat app, a new report says.

Zuckerberg’s photo-sharing app Instagram has offered big-name creators hefty payments to ditch TikTok and join Reels, a short-form video service it plans to roll out next month, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Some payments would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the most money would go to influencers who post content exclusively to Reels. Others would be asked to share videos there first before uploading them elsewhere, according to the paper.

Instagram has told creators over the past month that it wants to launch Reels with a bevy of exclusive content from high-profile users, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The company has also reportedly offered to cover the costs of producing creators’ videos while trying to keep terms of the possible deals under wraps with non-disclosure agreements.

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“We have a long history of reaching out to emerging creators and working to break new stars on Instagram,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Post in a statement. “As with previous products, we remain committed to investing in both our creators and their overall experience, and in certain cases, we may help cover production costs for their creative ideas.”

Reels could reportedly benefit from TikTok’s uncertain future in the US. The Trump administration is considering banning the Chinese-owned app over concerns that it could share user data with the Chinese government, which TikTok has pledged not to do.

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Some unnamed TikTok creators who were not offered cash from Instagram told the Journal that they would likely join Reels amid concerns about TikTok’s murky prospects.

In response to Instagram’s reported poaching push, TikTok pointed to the death of Lasso, Facebook’s earlier attempt at a short-video app that was wound down earlier this month.

“Given that Lasso had to shut down, it’s not surprising to see Facebook is trying this tactic with a product tied to Instagram,” a TikTok spokesman said in a statement. “At the end of the day millions of people truly love TikTok, and that’s something that no amount of copying can overcome.”

But the Facebook spokesperson said the company is just “responding to demand and working to innovate on the user experience.”

“Our focus here is offering choice, which we believe is a great thing for people to have,” the spokesperson said.

TikTok also rolled out a $200 million fund last week to help creators make a living from their content. Money from the so-called “Creator Fund” will be distributed over the next year, the company said.

Facebook shares were trading up about 0.1 percent at $233.71 as of 1:10 p.m. Tuesday.

NY Post

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