Instagram launched its short-form video feature, Reels, largely on Wednesday in an effort to compete with the fast-growing TikTok.
Instead of acting as a separate app, Reels can be found in the Instagram app itself by selecting “Reels” at the bottom of the Instagram camera. Reels allows users to create 15-second clips, such as TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends within the Instagram app.
The editing software works a lot like TikTok. Users can overlay sound, select augmented reality effects and upload videos in a similar way.
Reels was launched in Brazil in November last year and Instagram expanded it to France and Germany in June and India in July. It is now available in the United States and several other markets.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a poor performance that clones popular social media apps. It recently closed its Lasso app, as its first attempt to copy TikTok with a standalone app. Facebook also recently closed Hobbi, an app designed to compete with Pinterest. The company has had much better success, adding popular features from rivals to Instagram and the regular Facebook app, as when adding the “Stories”
“Reels give people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram and help everyone with the ambition to become a creator at the center,” the company said in a blog post.
Instagram announces new video product
Source: Jessica Bursztynsky via TikTok
Facebook-owned Instagram sweeps in at a vulnerable time for its biggest competitor, TikTok. The Trump administration has focused on TikTok and run its Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest the fast-growing segment and sell to a US-based company, or risk being banned due to national security concerns.
Microsoft has since emerged as the leading candidate to take over the bulk of TikTok and can end talks within three weeks, CNBC’s David Faber reported on Wednesday.
Launching through Instagram, while focusing on TikTok’s problems, can be a good role for Reels.
“We’re in a place where we have to be willing to admit when someone did something amazing and try to learn from it,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri told NBC News earlier this year, speaking on Snapchat.
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