When Wall Street analysts dial into an earnings call tomorrow with Mark Zuckerberg, they’re likely to pepper the Meta Platforms CEO with different versions of a favorite question: What’s the latest on making money from Reels, Meta’s answer to TikTok?
It’s a delicate topic inside Meta. After three years of work on Reels—a feature on Instagram and Facebook that shows short videos of everything from exotic travels to cooking tutorials—it is finally beginning to pull in meaningful numbers of viewers, according to company executives. But making money from Reels is a more complex issue. For one thing, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri, one of Zuckerberg’s key lieutenants, is concerned about rolling out too many ads on Reels, according to four people familiar with the matter. Mosseri fears ramping up ads at this stage will make for a worse user experience on Reels and could hurt engagement as the feature is still trying to establish itself, the people said.
And an even bigger debate bubbling inside Meta has more far-reaching ramifications: whether to relax long-standing opposition to the sharing of ad revenue with creators. While rival YouTube, a unit of Google, has been sharing revenue with people who upload videos onto the streaming service for more than a decade, Meta executives have long been resistant to splitting revenue generated in Facebook and Instagram feeds, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Former Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was among the powerful opponents of the idea, those people said.