Instagram Reels is significantly outperforming other short-form video content in 2023 says Emplifi, a leading customer engagement platform.

It’s newly-released “Unleashing the Power of Video: Key Trends Driving Social Media Engagement” report, offers marketers deep insights on Q2 2023 social media behavior and trends. According to the platform, a significant finding has been the success of Instagram Reels,  in outperforming all other content types on the social app this year.

It has generated 55% more interactions than single-image posts on Instagram and 29% more interactions than standard video posts. Instagram Reels usage by brands has surged 86%, the report says.

“Because the social media landscape is evolving and changing at such a rapid pace, it’s crucial marketers have access to insights that can help them earn the biggest bang for their marketing bucks. A key insight from this report is that despite an ongoing decline in engagement on Instagram last quarter, the platform still delivers the highest engagement rates for brands compared to Facebook and Twitter,” said Zarnaz Arlia, Chief Marketing Officer, Emplifi.

Another interesting finding from the report involves Twitter verification trends by brands. After analysing more than 40,000 brand Twitter accounts, Emplifi discovered 4% were verified on April 11, a week before the platform began charging an $8 per month subscription fee for its Twitter Blue status. By June 30, that number doubled to 9% of brands having the Twitter Blue verification badge.

Here are the top takeaways from Emplifi’s Q2 2023 Social Media Trends Report:

Instagram for Brands: A High-Level Overview 

Instagram Reels and Instagram Carousels (multi-image posts) are the top-performing content for brands on the platform, with Reels shared by brands earning 75 median interactions per post in Q2 and Carousels earning 74 median post interactions.

When looking at Instagram ads overall, only 11% are Reels placements—still, 87% of brands used Instagram Reels for ad placements, at least once in Q2 2023, representing a 26% increase year-over-year. Overall, Instagram Reels usage by brands is up 86% compared to Q2 2022, with 90% of brands posting, at least, one Reel in Q2 of this year.

The report does note, however, that Instagram Reels engagement has been trending downward for the last five quarters, dropping 30% year-over-year in Q2 2023. In addition, the recent deprioritization of Reels by Meta, Instagram’s parent company clearly singnals the.  importance for brands to diversify their social content, embracing more than one channel for their video marketing efforts.

 Facebook Reels: Still Playing Catch Up

While Instagram Reels are exploding, Facebook Reels are not seeing the same traction. In fact, Facebook Live Video dominates all other video content on the platform, earning nearly four times the number of interactions compared to static video posts. Emplifi highlights, however, that Facebook Reels was released two years after Instagram launched and as more brands cross-post their Instagram Reel content to Facebook, marketers may see a shift in engagement.

Only 31% of brands used Facebook Reels for ad placement in Q2 2022, but that number jumped to 82% during the same time period this year, representing an astounding 166% jump in usage.  

What’s Happening on Twitter? 

 For the brands wanting to make the most of their activity on the social network, Emplif’s data found that Tweets containing GIFs earned twice as many interactions as those with links and 33% more than text-based status updates.


TikTok vs Instagram Reels

 TikTok user growth is continuing to soar. Emplifi’s data revealed that the average brand saw a five-fold increase in TikTok followers in Q2 2023. While its ability to gain new users is impressive, Instagram Reels is still outperforming TikTok content when comparing median reach, median interactions, and median video views. Meanwhile, TikTok wins in terms of median engagement rates when compared to Instagram Reels.

Arlia added: “It is time marketers fully embrace their video efforts, and that means everything from Instagram Reels and Facebook Live Video to TikTok content and even GIFs on Twitter. Short-form video is exploding and the brands that lean into this trend will gain a major competitive edge. As a leading customer engagement platform, we know that implementing a successful video strategy takes time. That’s why we devote so much of our efforts to creating these reports and sharing this data—we want to help marketers by giving them a headstart on developing social media strategies that will deliver measurable impact.”

To review the full findings, download the report here

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Photo by Adem AY