Instagram has launched a new video editing tool in Brazil that copies some of the most famous features of TikTok. As reported by TechCrunch and Variety is called the Reels tool and is available on both iOS and Android. There is no word whether it will be launched in other countries, but it is probably probable if the tool is a success.
With Reels, users can record 15-second videos, adjust the speed, set them to music or borrow sounds from other people's videos – similar to the "Duet" feature in TikTok. They can share them with their stories, send them via DMs, or send them to a new section on the Explore tab of Instagram called Top Reels, where the company hopes the best clips will go viral.
It seems like a smart way for Instagram to leverage its existing network of users to take on TikTok. Facebook has previously tried to clone the app's success with a standalone product called Lasso but it is difficult to build a user base from the beginning. Instagram previously had great success with this tactic that copied Snapchat's signal Stories feature 201
You can see a quick demo of Reels below:
It's clear that Instagram is trying to steal TikTok's thunder, but the company's head of product management, Robby Stein, told TechCrunch that there was more than one way to harm a cat. "No two products are exactly the same, and at the end of the day sharing video with music is a pretty universal idea that we think everyone might be interested in using," Stein said. "The focus has been on how to make this a unique format for us."
The Verge previously reported that the new tool can be called Scenes, after a similar feature was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong a software engineer who has made his name for reverse technology code from the best apps. It now seems that scenes are actually rolls.
We have known for a while that Facebook is extremely anxious to thwart TikTok's rise. In addition to launching Lasso, Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company's ambitions regarding the Chinese app in audio that leaked to The Verge in October. The Facebook CEO then indicated that Instagram should probably be connected to the fight against the new startup. TikTok has "married in short form, engrossing video with scrolling," Zuckerberg said. "So it's almost like exploring the tab we have on Instagram."
Now is a really good time for TikTok's competitors to beat (Google is reportedly also working on its own response). The app has seen tremendous growth but faces problems from regulators, including a US national security review. For TikTok, the clock is ticking.
Update November 12, 7:23 PM ET: The story has been updated to include news about the rollout launch.