Instagram launched the Reels feature in 50 countries to face off against TikTok

After launching in India, Instagram Reels features is launched in 50 countries globally, including the US. The company’s alternative for TikTok on short video content creation will be available in significant international markets such as Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., Mexico, Argentina, Australia, and several others.

Facebook-owned Instagram earlier copied the stories feature similar to Snapchat. It is now focusing on the latest social media application TikTok through its Reels feature. The feature was in testing since last November, later launched in India post-TikTok ban.

The launch comes amid the global backlash TikTok facing. In India, the government banned the app in June citing privacy concerns and a threat to the country’s sovereignty. Besides, in the US, Trump has expressed his plan to ban the App entirely or forcing it to sell its operations to Microsoft.

However, Facebook’s plan to compete with the new most downloaded social media app TikTok was underway long before.

In 2018, Facebook launched an app called Lasso, similar to the TikTok. The app failed, this year company rolled it back. The app shows the ability of Facebook to run a large scale beta version to study the market.

Lasso allowed Facebook to collect a sizable amount of data related to the user behavior. This data has the potential to help the company while building news features, like Instagram Reels.

Later, Facebook released Reels feature in November 2019, in Brazil. Termed as Cenas, to study the user reaction to the different mobile experiences of its app which is photo-centric. The app traditionally focused on Photo uploads, this changed when it brought stories feature. 

In India, the app launched its feature officially after the Indian government banned the TikTok. After the launch, Instagram rigorously promoted it to occupy the vacuum created in the market due to the ban. Indian’s who were looking for alternatives, adopted the app as Instagram has a huge user base readily. This could help the video creators to retain their following.

However, in markets where TikTok exists, Reels looking to capture the TikTok audience in order to compete with the TikTok. In the US, the app has a similar environment as in India that can help to capture the TikTok audience.

 Traditionally launched as a photo-sharing app, Instagram now offers users to publish personal and even casual videos on their profile. Besides, IGTV for content creators. The new Reels won’t be available through the search option. A section will be created in the explore tab and users’ videos are shown up on a new section created on their profile.

Reels feature allows users to create and share 15-second videos. The feature offers a completely new set of editing tools, including the AR effects options. Additionally, a countdown timer, an alignment tool to line up different takes, and music.

The audio catalogue offered on Reels can be an advantage. Being a global giant Instagram can afford to add music that is under record labels. This may not be possible for smaller apps to acquire due to the hard policies of record labels.

Reels has option to save in drafts during the work is in progress. Once finished users can post them on their stories, stories with close friends, send the video as a DM, Users with a public account can publish reels to wider audiences, they can find it on the new space in the explore section.

Reels videos can be hashtagged, captioned, and tag friends, this will help the users to prevail the video, to make them go viral. Reels published in stories will disappear in 24hours similar to normal stories. However, the videos will stay on the new tab created on the user’s profile.

What Instagram built here is not different from the TikTok app nor a direct clone as well. The app ensured to fit the whole TikTok experience on its platform as a feature. This has been proved a successful formula for Instagram in the case of stories feature similar to that of Snapchat.