Instagram will launc rival to TikTok called Reels which will go live across the globe next month

Sci-Tech


Instagram confirms it will launch its own rival to TikTok called Reels which will start going live across the globe next month

  • Instagram is planning to launch a TikTok competitor called Reels
  • Reels will launch in 50 countries including the US starting next month
  • It allows users to post short video clips set to music, similar to TikTok

Instagram is set to launch its TikTok competitor globally in a matter of weeks.

According to a report from NBC News, sources familiar with the matter say the social media giant will roll out the feature, called Reels, to 50 countries across the world.

TechCrunch confirmed that Reels will be available in the US next month. 

NBC reports that users will be able to use Reels through a new icon at the bottom of their screen in Instagram.

The feature is only available in Brazil but a different version of the tool may be on its way for users across the globe

Instagram’s Reels feature will mimic Chinese social media upstart TikTok by allowing users to post video clips with music edited in

Users will then be able to post content created in Reels to Instagram’s main feed or Instagram Explore for public accounts.  

Reels is what Instagram is calling a ‘video remix feature’ that allows users to take a 15-second video accompanied by music and then post that clip to their story.

If one doesn’t feel like sharing their Reel publicly they can also send them via the platform’s direct messaging feature – a key difference between Instagram’s duplicate and TikTok’s original feature. 

The feature is already being tested in Brazil and parrots a posting format that helped popularize TikTok which now rivals mainstays like Instagram and Snapchat in its ability to court younger users.

TikTok will have a competitor in Instagram's Reels which allows users to post short video clips set to music (stock)

TikTok will have a competitor in Instagram’s Reels which allows users to post short video clips set to music (stock)

Reels was originally thought to be called ‘Scenes’ which is a feature spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse-engineering expert who has a knack for spotting nascent or unreleased features. 

Social media companies aren’t the only ones keeping an eye on TikTok.

In recent months, US lawmakers have called on the intelligence community to assess the app’s impact on national security, scrutinizing TikTok’s ties with the Chinese government.  

WHAT IS TIKTOK? 

TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.

Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app Musical.ly, also with headquarters in China.

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).

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