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The key details to know about Instagram Reels, the app’s TikTok competitor

Instagram Reels Users
Three Instagram influencers use Reels (from left to right): Anna OBrien, Eitan Bernath, and Chriselle Lim.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli. Welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have been rushing to compete with TikTok’s success by launching their own short-form video features.

As TikTok continues to face threats of a potential US ban, Instagram Reels has developed more creator and marketer interest. 

My colleagues Sydney Bradley, Dan Whateley, and I broke down what content creators, brands, and anyone in influencer marketing should know about Instagram’s new feature. 

Although the feature has been dubbed a “TikTok copycat,” marketers told us that Reels doesn’t have to replace TikTok for it to be a success. If Reels appeals to Instagram-first creators who aren’t using TikTok, then the feature could drive revenue — similar to how the Snapchat-copying “Stories” format worked starting in 2016. 

Some creators have already found that certain content performs better on Reels than on TikTok.

Eitan Bernath, a viral teen chef with over 1.3 million followers on TikTok and 409,000 followers on Instagram, told Business Insider that posting Reels helped his Instagram account double in followers in just one month. 

He repurposes a lot of his content between TikTok and Reels, but for Reels specifically, he will make sure there is something visually enticing at the start, since the sound is not automatically turned on (like on TikTok) to order to grab viewers’ attention. 

Aside from growth, Reels has also helped creators earn extra income on some brand deals.

Influencers with around 100,000 followers or more could charge between $5,000 and $40,000 for a sponsored Reel, according to Reesa Lake, partner and executive vice president of brand partnerships at the talent agency Digital Brand Architects. And Britney Turner, a fashion and lifestyle “micro” influencer with 27,000 followers, has a starting rate of $2,000 for a Reel.

Read more about Reels and all of the ways marketers and brands are using the new feature, here

A TikTok ‘skinfluencer’ with over 1 million followers breaks down his daily routine 
Young Yuh Skincare Influencer
Young Yuh is a skincare influencer on TikTok with 1.2 million followers.

Young Yuh, known as yayayayoung, is a TikTok skincare influencer with over 1 million followers.

Sydney spoke with Yuh about his account surging in popularity online, his own skincare routine, and inside his growing business. 

Yuh is part of a surge in skincare content across social media, a category which saw a 197% increase in engagements between the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2020, according to data from Traackr, an influencer-marketing platform.

In May, skincare brands started reaching out to Yuh for potential partnerships on TikTok, he said. After researching on Craigslist and Indeed about how much money videographers and production assistants make hourly, he calculated his starting rates for his content: between $1,000 and $3,000. 

His morning skincare routine includes using a cleansing foam and exfoliating. He also applies a sunscreen after moisturizing. 

Check out his full routine, from skincare to work, here

A YouTube creator with about 380,000 subscribers shares the media kit she uses to land brand deals
Jade Darmawangsa media kit

Jade Darmawangsa has 381,000 YouTube subscribers and has expanded her channel into a full-time business by working with brands on sponsorships and collaborations.

I spoke with Darmawangsa about how she lands brand deals and how much she charges on average. 

Darmawangsa shared that she uses a media kit, a document that showcase an influencer’s value to a brand or company, to land sponsorships on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. 

On average, she charges between $2,000 and $5,000 for a YouTube brand sponsorship, and between $500 and $2,000 for a sponsored Instagram post, she said.

Darmawangsa’s media kit highlights her audience demographics and some of her past work.

Check out her exact 4-page media kit, here.

How Instagram Reels’ new audio features will help it compete with TikTok for marketing dollars
Instagram Reels - audio features.
Instagram Reels introduced new audio features to make songs more discoverable and shareable on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

Instagram introduced a series of product updates last week to make trending songs on its short-form video feature Reels more discoverable.

Dan reported that the audio-focused updates should appease the music marketers who told Business Insider that Reels’ lack of a robust song discovery system made it difficult to promote tracks on the app.

Music is a core part of TikTok’s user experience.

To bring Reels up to par, Instagram developed a new song discovery page featuring “trending” tracks, added the ability to share audio pages with friends in direct messages, and created an option for users to bookmark songs for later use (similar to the “favorite” feature in TikTok).

Read more about the new music features here

More creator industry coverage from Business Insider:


Finance YouTube creators reveal how much they get paid and why they earn higher rates than many other influencers (by Amanda Perelli)


We are still seeking nominations for the influencer “collab” houses that have had the greatest impact on the creator industry this year. Submit your ideas here.

Industry updates: 

TikTok star Josh Richards started a podcast with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, and it’s #6 on Apple podcasts.

YouTube is testing new shopping features that let creators make items mentioned in videos shoppable through the platform.

Gamer Tyler Blevins (known as “Ninja”) signed with the talent agency CAA and he is looking to get into voice acting, movie roles, and producing.

This week from Insider’s digital culture team:
Jeffree Star poses for photos at Cosmoprof at BolognaFiere Exhibition Centre on March 17, 2018 in Bologna, Italy.
Jeffree Star.

Leaked Jeffree Star messages show he deleted more than 400 crude tweets as he accused rival YouTuber James Charles of sexual misconduct

Controversial makeup influencer Jeffree Star – who has more than 44 million followers across his social media platforms – hired a fan to help him delete crude tweets and direct messages. 

Insider reporter Kat Tenbarge wrote that the makeup mogul deleted more than 400 old, potentially offensive tweets in the days after he accused rival YouTuber and beauty guru James Charles of sexual misconduct. 

Insider learned of the coordinated effort to delete the tweets after a former fan of Star’s shared a series of direct messages with Star that appear to show him helping Star identify which tweets to delete.

In exchange for his assistance, Star promised in the leaked messages, but later rescinded, tickets to one of Star’s Masterclass events. Insider was able to confirm the identity of the former fan, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of professional repercussions, through his verified accounts.

Insider confirmed the exchange began one day after Star had accused Charles of being a “predator” and a “danger to society.”

Read the full story here

More from Insider: 

A viral TikTok creator says the money he’s earning will help him make a down payment on a home (Palmer Haasch)

TikTok rival Triller announces ban on QAnon conspiracy theory content (Rachel Greenspan) 

Bon Appétit just announced 8 new chefs will be joining the relaunch of its YouTube channel (Margot Harris and Palmer Haasch)

People are criticizing a hair salon that’s popular among influencers for seemingly not requiring anyone to wear masks (Amanda Krause)

Here’s what else we’re reading: 

Production studio Viva Pictures wants to turn influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae into Hollywood stars (Kate Lindsay, from NoFilter)

Twitch employees call out the company, alleging culture of indifference to misconduct (Brendan Sinclair, from GamesIndustry.Biz)

A data-driven music startup is looking to predict the next big song on TikTok (Elias Leight, from Rolling Stone)

Take a virtual tour inside Faze Clan’s esports compound (Taylor Lorenz, from The New York Times)

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