Instagram launched its widescreen video feature, Reels, widely on Wednesday, in a bid to compete with the fast-growing TikTok.
Instead of working 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 videos, such as TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends on the Instagram app.
The editing software works similarly to TikTok. Users can overlay audio, choose augmented reality effects, and upload videos in a similar way.
The reels were released in Brazil last November, and Instagram expanded it to France and Germany in June and India in July. It is now available in the US and several other markets.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a bad history of cloning popular social media apps. He recently shut down his Lasso app, his first attempt to copy TikTok with a standalone app. Facebook also recently shut down Hobbi, an app designed to compete with Pinterest. The company has had much better success by adding popular features from competitors on Instagram and the regular Facebook app, such as when it added the “Stories”
“Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram and help anyone with the ambition to become an artist to take center stage,” the blog post said.
Instagram announces a new video product
Source: Jessica Bursztynski via TikTok
Instagram, owned by Facebook, is entering a vulnerable time for its biggest competitor, TikTok. The Trump administration has turned its attention to TikTok, urging its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to vacate the fast-growing segment and sell it to a US-based company or risk being banned for national security reasons.
Since then, Microsoft has been the leading candidate for most of TikTok and could conclude negotiations within three weeks, CNBC’s David Faber said on Wednesday.
Launching on Instagram, while focusing on TikTok’s problems, could offer good results for Reels.
“We’re in a place where we have to be ready to admit when someone has done something great and try to learn from it,” Instagram boss Adam Moseri told NBC News earlier this year, speaking to Snapchat.
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