Instagram Reels, Facebook’s competitor to TikTok, launched
Facebook in an attempt to compete with TikTok — a new short-form video format on Instagram — is launched to users the new feature Instagram Reels.
Reels allows users to record and edit short-form videos with audio and music soundtracks — as users already do on TikTok. Facebook first started testing Reels with users in Brazil in November, before rolling out in the last few months to France, Germany, and India.
The debut of Instagram’s Reels in the US comes as fears spike over TikTok’s future in US, as the Trump administration threatens to ban TikTok nationwide. Although the path to a ban is not clear, TikTok’s US users are already panicking and looking for alternatives to the platform in preparation. ByteDance has been looking to sell TikTok’s US operations to an American company in an attempt to salvage its presence, and Microsoft has emerged as a potential buyer.
Instagram has said that the Reels video format will live inside of Stories, which users can create in the top-left corner of the Home feed. It appears that Instagram is updating the Rolodex of options at the bottom of the screen — for creating Live videos, text posts, or Boomerangs — to add a tab for Reels. The creation process for Reels appears similar to that on TikTok, but it remains to be seen how seamless of an experience it is compared with TikTok’s video-creating ease.
When scrolling through your home feed or Explore page, you’ll be able to tell which posts are Reels clips by a clapboard icon in the bottom-left corner.
October 20, 2020
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