Facebook is reportedly planning to bring Instagram Reels, an immediate competitor to TikTok, to the US in August.
Reels, which currently exclusive to a bunch of countries, will be going to the US and 50+ other countries.
Instagram Reels shares some of similar features with TikTok, for example,
Users can create and share 15-second videos.
Users can add their own sound to videos, or pick a song from a catalog of licensed music.
Users can get unique sound from other videos and add it to their own.
Well known clips will be housed in a “Featured Reels” section.
Instagram Reels initially launched in Brazil last November, trailed by France and Germany this previous June.
Most recently, just days after banning TikTok, India was next to get the Reels update.
It’s likely no coincidence Reels will launch in the US soon, with lawmakers discussing potentially banning TikTok as well.
Not like TikTok, which is its own application, Reels is an extension of the Instagram application.
Reels is open from the bottom navigation menu just as the Stories camera.
Users can make and edit Reels clips from the Stories screen.
Clips can be published either to users’ profiles or their stories feed. Users with public accounts can publish clips to the Explore feed also.
When the update turns out there will be a dedicated Reels icon added to the bottom of Instagram’s primary screen.
Users can visit the Reels tab to see clips uploaded by others and see what’s going viral.
On the similarities among Reels and TikTok, an Instagram representative gave the following explanation:
“No two services are the same. TikTok specifically has harnessed real consumer behavior, and done amazing things.
We’ve also seen the rise of short-form video on Instagram, and think we can create something in a way that makes sense for our community.
This responsiveness to consumer demand is competition at work and one of the longtime hallmarks of the tech sector. It increases choice, which is good for people.”
The ascent of short-form video on Instagram isn’t the main sign of consumer demand, as the representative states.
Users, especially those in younger demographics, have been running to TikTok in large numbers since its US launch in 2018.
TikTok has amassed an expected 65-80 million active US users surprisingly fast, and is rapidly becoming ingrained in popular culture.
With the addition of Reels, Instagram gets an opportunity of re-catching the demographic of users that enthusiastically uses TikTok.
In a little while there may not be some other choice.
What’s starting as a TikTok competitors may soon become a TikTok alternative, if US officials have it their way.
Claimed by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok is being examined by the US government as a potential security danger.
A few US agencies and branches of the military have already banned the use of TikTok among their faculty.
As lawmakers keep on calling for investigations into TikTok, the reality of the situation will become obvious eventually if its days in the US market are numbered.
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