Facebook launches its new TikTok clone
The new Instagram feature will let users record and edit 15-second videos with audio, and will let users add visual effects. Users will be able to share Reels with followers in Instagram in a dedicated section called Reels in Explore, or in the Story feature where posts disappear after 24 hours.
The Reels option will be available in the Instagram app. The company has been testing Reels in Brazil since November and in France, Germany and India since earlier this summer.
TikTok launched a $200 million “creator fund” in July that it says will grow to over $1 billion in the U.S. in the next three years and more than double that globally, to pay video creators for their material.
TikTok, however, is under fire, possibly opening an opportunity for Facebook.
Microsoft is in talks to buy part of TikTok in what would be a forced sale, following threats from President Donald Trump to ban the Chinese-owned video app, which claims 100 million U.S. users and hundreds of millions globally.
Experts think Facebook has an opportunity to lure in young users with Reels, but its success is not guaranteed.
Since early July, some TikTok users have been posting videos urging viewers to follow them to other platforms like Instagram, reflecting the threat of a TikTok ban. Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO at the influencer marketing agency Takumi, said the creators she works with have been sad, angry and upset about the threat of a ban. Still, they’re “pragmatic,” she said, and the smart ones were already active on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
Reels is debuting in over 50 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Australia and others, as well as officially launching in the test countries - Brazil, France, Germany and India.
Instagram has more than a billion users worldwide.