Instagram is taking the opportunity to release its TikTok clone, Reels, as the Chinese-owned company is facing legal woes, forcing the company to sell its US operations.
President Trump ordered TikTok to sell its US operations to an American owner. Right now, it looks like Microsoft is swooping in for the purchase. During this time of hardship for TikTok, Instagram is releasing Reels worldwide. It’s been undergoing tests in a couple of countries, including Brazil, India, France, and Germany. However, Instagram seems to have sped up the release of Reels worldwide as TikTok is facing these troubles.
Reels is now available in 50 markets worldwide, which now includes the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Australia.
How does Reels work?
Similar to TikTok, Reels allows users to make 15-second, multi-clip videos with music and other audio mixed with visual effects and additional editing. The clips can be shared to grid feeds, Stories, direct messages, and within the new hub in the Explore tab. Reels can also be accessed in a dedicated tab within a user’s profile. However, if the account is private, the video will not be sent out through Explore. So, whatever privacy settings the user has set for their account, Instagram will follow those settings when sharing the users’ Reels.
If users publish Reels as Stories, they will act accordingly to the Story settings and will go away after 24 hours. When creators’ clips are chosen by Instagram to appear in the Explore tab, the creators will be notified and will receive a ‘Featured’ label on their clips.
‘Use Audio’ feature
Reel users can also use its “Use Audio” from Reels feature. This feature allows users to use the audio from other creator’s Reels. This is a huge feature offered on TikTok, which allowed many trends to spread on the platform. So, this sense of community could grow across Instagram’s Reels as people piggyback off other people’s ideas and make their own take on it.
Can Instagram actually challenge TikTok?
While TikTok has ran into some hurdles recently, it’s still unknown if Instagram can take the spotlight away from TikTok. TikTok is fast approaching a deal with Microsoft, allowing the app to continue operation in the US. Reports suggest that Instagram is offering cash payments to prominent TikTok creators to post videos on Reels. The deal reportedly requires creators to post a certain amount of videos for as much as six figures. The creators would continue to post for a certain amount of days before pushing those videos to other platforms.
We will have to see how this pans out, but it will be tough for Instagram to relocate the TikTok community.