Facebook is reportedly planning to bring Instagram Reels, a direct competitor of TikTok, to the US in August.
Rolls that are currently only available in a few countries are shipped to the United States and over 50 other countries.
Instagram Reels shares a number of the same features with TikTok, such as:
- Users can create and share 15-second videos.
- Users can add their own audio to videos or choose a track from a catalog of licensed music.
- Users can get original audio from other videos and add it to their own.
- Popular clips are placed in a "Recommended Roles" section.
Instagram reels were first launched in Brazil last November, followed by France and Germany last June.
Most recently, just a few days after TikTok was banned, India next received the Reels update.
It is probably not a coincidence that Reels will soon be launched in the United States. Legislators are also discussing a possible ban on TikTok.
What is Instagram Reels?
Unlike TikTok, its own app, Reels is an extension of the Instagram app.
The roles are accessed via the lower navigation menu and the stories camera.
Users can create and edit role clips from the Stories screen.
Clips can either be published in user profiles or in their story feeds. Public account users can also post clips to the Explore feed.
When the update is released, a special Reels icon will be added to the bottom of Instagram's main screen.
On the Roles tab, users can view clips uploaded by other people and see what's currently viral.
An Instagram spokesman made the following statement about the similarities between Reels and TikTok:
“No two services are the same. TikTok specifically used real consumer behavior and did amazing things.
We have also seen the rise of short videos on Instagram and think we can create something in a way that makes sense to our community.
This response to consumer demand is competition in the workplace and one of the longstanding hallmarks of the technology sector. It increases the choice of what is good for people. "
The rise of short videos on Instagram is not the only clue to consumer demand, the spokesman notes.
Users, especially in younger populations, have flocked to TikTok since the U.S. started in 2018.
TikTok has accumulated an estimated 65 to 80 million active US users in a few years and is quickly becoming established in popular culture.
With Reels, Instagram has the ability to re-capture the population of users who are eager to use TikTok.
There may be no other option coming soon.
What comes on the market as a TikTok competitor could soon become a TikTok alternative if US lawmakers so wished.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and is being examined by the US government as a potential security threat.
Several U.S. agencies and military branches have already banned the use of TikTok among their employees.
As lawmakers continue to request investigations into TikTok, time will tell if the days in the US market are numbered.
Sources: NBC News, Business Insider, ABC News