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Instagram Launches “Reels,” Challenging TikTok’s Dominance

Sam Arnold

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Instagram has launched a new feature, called “Reels,” a TikTok-like feature meant to take advantage of TikTok’s present troubles.

As TikTok faces an intense US crackdown, Facebook moved to take it down by launching Reels, a new video-sharing feature. This new feature will go on Instagram, in tandem with Instagram Stories. After India banned TikTok earlier this month, Instagram opened Reels to take over the market. Facebook plans to extend Reels to the US and to over 50 more countries in August. 

In 2019, Facebook bought Instagram. 

What Is Instagram Reels?

Gizmodo notes that Instagram Reels works the same way as TikTok. Instagram users can “create 15-second videos set to music” and share it publicly. They can also “borrow” the audio from other users’ Reels and remix them for other creations.

Lots of TikTok videos have gone viral in the past. Instagram looks to feed into this by adding viral Reels to the “Featured Reels” tab. This feature gathers all viral Reels in one section. Users can also use Reels’ editing tools to tinker with their videos.

Will People Like Instagram Reels?

A report from Tech Crunch notes that in case TikTok gets banned, Instagram can lock up all of its former users. However, the report cautions that TikTok users may not jump right to Instagram. Not all TikTok users release the same types of videos anyway. If you dance, you might choose Dubsmash. If you’re Gen Z, you might prefer Byte.

Despite this, though, Instagram remains of the most-used apps in the world. Tech Crunch reports that Facebook has not announced Reels’ US release date yet.

Why Is TikTok in Trouble?

Tiktok has found itself in hot water recently. US lawmakers point to its Chinese origin as a possible threat to national security. Because of this, they fear that the Chinese government is harvesting user data. President Donald Trump even said they were looking to banning the app in the US. 

Some companies have already banned TikTok. Wells Fargo told its employees to delete the app from their phones. Even the US military asked soldiers to remove the app in their government-issued phones. 

As of now, people will have to wait to see if Instagram can take TikTok’s place.  

Arnold is a senior British tech reporter at Tekrati. Before joining Tekrati, Arnold worked as an editor for his University Newspaper, writing sharable content for a student audience. Sam loves movies, running, and anything written by Oliver Sacks. The drink he chose is tea, which he does not recommend in large quantities.

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