With TikTok’s future up in the air, Instagram has taken matters into their own hands and created their own competitor called ‘Reels’. It has been launched today in 50 countries worldwide after its nine month testing period in Brazil.
The new feature can be accessed directly through the Instagram app and allows viewers to make 15 second videos with different audios and effects. Sounds kind of familiar right? That’s because TikTok’s default video setting is also 15 seconds although TikTok does allow videos up to 60 seconds.
This is Instagram’s latest attempt to bring in users and keep them on the app for as long as possible. TikTok has become a mindless source of entertainment that people scroll through for extended lengths of time, so Instagram is trying to create the same thing on their platform
For the budding Reels stars, Instagram allows users to share reels with their friends on their feeds OR public accounts can share reels with the larger Instagram universe on the Explore page. The Reels featured on the Explore page are meant to showcase the best of what’s trending on the internet, which you know, sounds a lot like TikTok’s “For You Page”.
Instagram’s official announcement said, “Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.”
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🌟 Introducing Reels 🌟 Now you can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with music, effects and new creative features. Reels lets you express yourself and entertain people, whether you’re showing off a new skill or making a funny video the world deserves to see. 🤳🤩🎥✨😂👀💯 Share reels with friends on Feed — and if you have a public account, you can also share reels with the larger Instagram community in a new space in Explore. Today Reels is rolling out to more than 50 countries, and we can’t wait to see what you create. Tap the link in our bio for more information.
Hellooooo, Reels 🙌
Introducing a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
Reels is rolling out today to more than 50 countries around the world.
— Instagram (@instagram) August 5, 2020
So as well all know, TikTok’s future has been in hot water because of President Trump’s strong opinions about the app, so it seems like Instagram is striking while the iron’s hot.
The Trump Administration has accused the Chinese-owned app of collecting American user’s data and sending it to the Chinese government, and based on that, Trump said he would ban the app if it is not sold to an American company by September 15th. Since that news broke, Microsoft has been at the forefront to make a deal with TikTok, a deal which could be worth up to $30 billion, as reported by CNBC.
So fingers crossed we get to keep TikTok in the future, but in regard to the copycat effect that the app is dealing with, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer had some strong words about it.
Mayer wrote in a blog post, “At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on. Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.”
Seems like Instagram thrives off competition because when Instagram introduced the Stories feature a few years ago, Snapchat Stories lost popularity. Maybe this could be the same thing.
Reels has now launched and should be in your Instagram app, and there has already been a ton of users and celebrities trying out and promoting the new feature, including Miley Cyrus, YouTube Stars Brooklyn and Bailey and various Instagram Creators.
It is also worth mentioning that Selena Gomez has already posted a Reel and it has received 9 million views in 2 hours, and it’s of her refrigerator. Get it girl.
— WorldwideSelG Media (@WWSGMedia) August 5, 2020
Maybe that’ll be Reels first viral trend! A tour of your refrigerator, I can see it now. Anyway, will you stay loyal to TikTok or will you make the switch?