With a lot of companies and countries being truly wary of social media sensation TikTok, Facebook thinks it’s time for them to do a full-scale launch of an Instagram feature that is pretty similar to the app. Reels is currently being tested in a few countries but reports are saying that it will actually be launched in the U.S. and more than 50 countries in the next few weeks. Either they’re done with the testing phase or they’re taking advantage of the fact that TikTok may soon be banned in other countries.
TikTok has become hugely popular especially among teenagers but the fact that it is owned by a Chinese company hasn’t sat well with the U.S. There have been a lot of security and privacy concerns about the amount of data that the app gathers about its users and who is actually privy to all that data. Some companies have resorted to telling their employees to delete the app from their phones while there are talks over a total U.S. ban on the app, affecting the more than 30 million active users in the country alone.
Enter Instagram Reels. The feature which sits in inside the Facebook-owned app is obviously very similar to TikTok. You can make and share 15-second videos and add music from the catalog. You can also borrow and remix some of the audio from other videos. In the explore section, you’ll be able to see “Featured Reels” or the most popular videos created using the feature.
According to NBC News, a source is saying that in the next few weeks, Facebook will be launching Reels globally. Currently, only those in Brazil, France, Germany and recently India have been able to test it out. Instagram will have a new Reels icon at the bottom of their screen. They can post their Reels on the main feed or if you have a public account, on the Instagram Explore.
While security and policy experts are still split on whether TikTok is a risk, not just because of the China connections but the actual data they collect, some companies like Wells Fargo and Amazon have advised employees to remove the app and India has already instituted a ban on the app. So while Facebook has its own problems and issues to deal with, they might as well try and get in on that TikTok action.