As TikTok faces a threat from the US and its continuous looming fate for shutdown, Instagram has been busy working on a competitive alternative called Reels, which it launched today to lure as many users as possible.
Instagram’s Reels is launching in more than 50 countries today, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia, on both iOS and Android respectively, with it expected to come to other countries soon too.
Reels is similar to TikTok and lets people create short videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers as they browse through the app. The move is seen as an opportunity to bring in more users to its platform and keep them entertained and glued to the app longer.
Instagram wants to establish itself as a video entertainment platform, which is why Reels is the answer to the popular TikTok. The new feature allows you to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, filters and effects over the top of them.
For those that are creators, and are looking for ways to build a following, Instagram has made changes to its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through — similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.”
Will Reels out stage the popular TikTok app?
What makes Reels kind of exciting is that it comes with the option for users to set their content to either private or public. So, if you want to share with a few people like friends, then it’s really a good feature and so is the public one for those looking for exposure.
Reels created under private accounts will only post to a person’s Feed and Stories. The feature lives entirely inside of Instagram; it’s not a new app. Though the idea has been met with a bit of resistance from ByteDance, accusing the company of plagiarizing its product with Instagram Reels.
However, the photo-sharing platform has kept its stance on the subject since its idea is part of its ecosystem, and allows users to use Instagram-specific AR filters and tools — everything that people want to do is part of an existing network.
Both TikTok and Instagram are more suited as camera products, which makes them similar in a number of ways though, Insta is not going to be paying popular creators for their content like TikTok, which it started to offer.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.