TikTok is facing an uncertain future in the US market. In the meantime, Instagram has quickly launched a feature that competes directly with TikTok, or in other words the TikTok clone, called Reels. Reels are launched in more than 50 countries, available on both iOS and Android.
Similar to TikTok, Reels allows users to create short, vertical videos with music and effects filters, sharing with friends or followers. Each video is limited to 15 seconds in length.
Instagram has revamped the Explore page so that users can view all of the Reels videos, which can be scrolled vertically, quite similar to TikTok’s For You page.
Users can set up videos in private or public format. If you want to be a KOL, you can set your videos to be public for everyone to see. If you just want to share with your friends, you can set it to private and these videos will only appear on Feed and Stories.
Reels is entirely inside Instagram, like a new feature. This is not a standalone application. Therefore, Reels can help increase the number of Instagram users, compete with TikTok.
Prior to the feature’s launch, ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) said that Facebook was one of the troubles on their way, accusing the social media giant of stealing its products with Instagram Reels.
Instagram product manager Robby Stein said that Reels and TikTok, while both short video formats, are completely different. “I think TikTok is a very popular video application. However, no two products are completely identical, so is our Reels ”, said Mr. Stein.
That’s a familiar statement, if you remember when Instagram first launched Stories in 2016, and was accused of stealing Snapchat’s ideas. However, Instagram Stories quickly overtook Snapchat with its larger user base. Does that repeat with Reels and TikTok?