First, Instagram killed Snapchat when it activated its Stories feature. Now, according to reports, the social media platform is targeting TikTok with a new format called Reels.
First seen by TechCrunch, Reels is currently being implemented in Brazil. Available on both iOS and Android, the feature allows users to record 15-second clips that can then be set with music. Users can adjust the speed, as well as borrow audio from other videos to remix and riff content. It also seems that Instagram is adding video editing tools, such as the ability to add timed subtitles and ghost overlays for transitions. Once a user finishes editing, the video can be published in their Stories, and can also be shared in a new “Main Reels” section on the Explore tab.
At the moment, there is no concrete timeline for when we can see Reels in the United States. An Instagram spokesman told Gizmodo that the company is simply excited to test the role in Brazil for now, and “incorporate community learning and feedback as it progresses.”
“We are excited to try Reels, a new Stories format that gives our community a way to create entertaining and short videos with music,” Robbie Stein, Product Manager on Instagram, told Gizmodo by email. “Instagram Stories has always been a home for expression and we believe that this new format has great potential to allow more creativity for people.”
This is not Facebook’s first attempt to clone TikTok. Last year, he launched Lasso, a short format video platform aimed at teenagers. If you have not heard of that, it is because nobody really downloaded it. From November 2018 to February this year, it is estimated that Lasso was downloaded by approximately 70,000 US users. UU., A drop in the package compared to 39.6 million downloads of TikTok in the US. UU. During the same period. While that could be an indication of TikTok’s staying power, it is more likely to be just a demonstration of how difficult it is for a new social platform to gain traction. Instagram, however, is firmly rooted in its audience.
However, that slow start is not necessarily a detour to Facebook. Last month, The Verge leaked the audio from Facebook’s internal meetings. In it, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was very aware that TikTok represents a challenge for Instagram. “It’s [TikTok] starting to work well in the United States, especially with young people. It’s growing very fast in India. I think Instagram has already passed in India in terms of scale,” says Zuckerberg in the filtered audio. He then explained that Facebook’s Lasso strategy would be to reach markets where TikTok has not yet taken off, such as Mexico.
Given that context, it is not surprising to see Facebook implementing an imitation function on Instagram as well. Interestingly, TikTok also seems to be taking Instagram signals. Last summer, TikTok was seen experimenting with a Discover tab in the application, as well as a grid layout for its feed that works like the Explore page on Instagram.
The timing of the Instagram reel feature is also worth noting. US Senators UU. The alarm has been sounding that TikTok may pose a threat to national security, and despite TikTok’s attempts to dispel the concern, it is now undergoing a national security review. Given the greater scrutiny, it is not a bad time for TikTok’s rivals to stab a knife in his back. Other startups like Firework are already floating, ready to fill the void if TikTok stumbles.