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The Reel World

Anmy Figuereo

Creative Insights

They say change is the only constant, and although that holds true for most things in life, what hasn’t changed much is how audiences view content—not since the introduction of the Real World in 1992.

The Real World was the longest-running program in MTV history and] one of the longest-running reality series. This show is widely credited with launching the modern reality TV genre, giving people a direct POV into strangers’ personal lives and perspectives. Similar to the vehicle of content that followed - social media and the content format of short-form video.

Welcome to the Reel World

Overview of short from video

Much like the show that launched a thousand spin-offs, short-form videos for social media were first introduced by Vine before being perfected by the TikTok app. TikTok has optimized the art of keeping its audience engaged in people's lives on the platforms, with 3 billion monthly active users and people spending an average of 850 minutes per month on the app. People are watching short-form videos like it’s a part-time job. And as many reality shows follow the real world, it only makes sense that other platforms introduced their own version. From YouTube shorts to Instagram and Facebook Reels — when it works, it works.

Importance to society

This form of content not only allowed us a direct lens into other lives, but it also put the power of opinion and expression directly into the hands of the user. When the world shifted their screen time to their mobile devices, it democratized the process of creating content, allowing anyone on the internet to become a creator.

Opening the lens directly to the user's point of view creates a level of intimacy never before seen on our little handheld TVs. 

So why do we find ourselves scrolling through reels for hours? And most importantly, why should it matter to businesses and creators alike?

Identify Benefits

We scroll for hours because it is an effortless way to become aware of what is trending in society, engage with our peers, and be inspired. Finding a trending video, you can remake or spark a trend yourself is a dopamine hit like no other. Like winning in slots, it's a surprise. And the more natural it is, the better.

Users are craving authentic content more than ever. 88% of consumers say authenticity is crucial when deciding what brands they like and support (Stackla, 2021).

My thought leadership opinion

Consumers want brands to be honest. People like people to be real. And in case it isn’t clear yet… authenticity is no longer a choice. It is a necessary ingredient to building community, establishing trust, and building on a brand’s success. Truth, transparency, and showing up are essential for any brand looking to make a difference.


Ever-evolving, and immersive — society is ready for the age of authenticity. In an age where being authentic is revolutionary, reels are the vehicle through which people have chosen to display their authentic selves.

Creative Insights
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