Reels: Instagram’s bet to take advantage of the TikTok crisis in the US

Technology News

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced on July 31 his intention to ban TikTok in the country . A few days later, he signed an executive order that will prohibit US companies from making transactions with the company ByteDance, which owns the short video platform. The objective of the White House is, according to official statements, to protect “the national security, economy and foreign policy” of the United States. Instagram has taken advantage of escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington to promote Reels, a proposal launched last week in more than 50 countries around the world to compete with TikTok.

Like the Chinese social network, Reels allows the user to create and discover short and entertaining videos . In this case, within Instagram. Users can record and edit 15-second videos and various audio clips with different effects. To do this, they only have to open the camera within Instagram as if they were going to make a story and select the option to record a reel .

The reels can be recorded in a series of clips – one at a time – all at once or using the videos saved in the gallery. Once published, they will appear in the feed . That is, on the screen that users see when entering a specific profile. If you have a public account, they can appear in the “explore” tab and, therefore, can be seen by other users. Currently, Instagram highlights the reels as soon as you enter this tab.

Instagram’s proposal is very similar to what millions of users do daily on TikTok. And even the Chinese social network has joked about it. “Well, this looks familiar,” the US TikTok account posted on Twitter following the launch of the new Instagram feature. In addition to the fact that both platforms are designed to create and discover short and entertaining videos, they have similar tools to achieve this. For example, augmented reality effects, a timer, or a function to speed up or slow down the video.

Appearance of an Instagram ‘reels’.
Appearance of an Instagram ‘reels’.
It is not the first time that the Facebook-owned company has introduced similar functions to those of its competition to counter the success of other platforms. He did it with Snapchat in 2016 by launching the stories (stories). Users can now share short videos or photos on Instagram that are automatically deleted 24 hours after being published. For the social network owned by Facebook, the play went very well. It remains to be seen whether with Reels it will also be able to capture millions of tiktokers.

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