Mark Zuckerberg has done it again. Instagram Reels, Instagram’s latest effort in challenging TikTok on short-form creative content, is set to launch globally, and went live in the US and 50 other countries earlier this week.
The feature was immediately taken up by several celebrities, including actress Jessica Alba, entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, and comedian Mindy Kaling.
The new Instagram Reels feature comes days after Microsoft was in talks to acquire TikTok’s US operations from China’s Bytedance. The company previously purchased the music-based platform Musical.ly and was under threat to ban it in the USA after data security concerns.
Reels lets users create and publish 15-second videos within the Instagram app with a new set of editing tools with options such as AR effects, a countdown timer, a new align tool for different takes, and of course, music. With Instagram’s deals with major record labels, you’ll get a comprehensive audio catalog and won’t have to wonder about rights issues or a sound getting later removed.
The beta version was first introduced in Brazil in 2019 and then later to test users in Germany, France and India. It received positive reviews, so much so that it was quick to open up on Instagram, now available across countries such as the USA and Europe, including Turkey.
If successful, Instagram will be able to capture the TikTok audience, where Tiktok has been one of the platforms with the highest number of active users today, and the most popular within the Gen Z population.
So it seems like Instagram has turned the entirety of the Tiktok experience into a single feature on its app - this formula has proven to be pretty successful in the past -- Instagram Stories has become much more popular than Snapchat, for instance.