Reels lets you make a 15-second video clip and set it to music, allowing you to share it as your story on Instagram. Launching this week only in Brazil, it seems like the biggest competitor to TikTok currently. It is a very timely decision to launch too. TikTok is currently under fire after censoring content abroad and even has an ongoing national security investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment. A TikTok spokesperson responded regarding the investigation:
“While we cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes, TikTok has made clear that we have no higher priority than earning the trust of users and regulators in the U.S. Part of that effort includes working with Congress and we are committed to doing so.”
Investigations aside, Instagram acknowledges the rapid growth of TikTok. Director of Product Management for Instagram, Robby Stein humbly credits TikTok for its innovation:
“I think Musically before TikTok, and TikTok deserve a ton of credit for popularizing this format.”
Not The First Time For Facebook
While it is clear the teen generation prefers Snapchat and YouTube to Facebook, Zuckerberg can’t shake giving up on this demographic. Furthermore, back in October 2018, Facebook quietly launched Lasso. Essentially TikTok but for Facebook.
“Lasso makes it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun filters and effects. Follow creators, search hashtags, discover popular viral video trends and join in by putting your own spin on them.”
In closing, instead of starting over with another app, Instagram is taking on TikTok directly, and even has mutual support from the U.S. government given the censorship of TikTok and pending investigations. Launching this week in Brazil, stay tuned to see if “Reels” sticks.