If you live in India and you’ve been longing to view some TikTok videos, we sorta have news for you. No, the government has not reversed their ban on the Chinese-owned viral video app but Instagram’s own version of it called Reels is now coming to Instagram Lite. The update to the barebones version of the Instagram app will let you view Reels on your mobile device but unfortunately, you cannot upload your own Reels from there. So, it should be the next best thing to actually having TikTok right?
If you’re not familiar with Instagram Lite, it’s the lite version of the main Instagram app as it comes in less than 2MB in size. It’s a no-frills IG experience for those who have smartphones that are low in memory (Instagram is a memory hog if you didn’t know) and your internet bandwidth isn’t all that great, then this is the app for you. India is a huge market for apps but it’s also a bit lagging in terms of connection and budget devices are all the rage.
So Facebook wanted Instagram to go bigger in India and so this is the first market where they launched Instagram Lite. And now, according to XDA Developers, the latest update to the app lets users view Reels, their short-format video section which unabashedly copies its model from TikTok of course. You will be able to view the Reels posts through the Reels tab on the Lite app. However, you won’t be able to upload your own short-form videos.
Facebook said they are seeing traction for Reels in India and so they wanted to include it in the Instagram Lite app, which is also enjoying early adoption in the country. They did not explain though why users are not able to add their own but this is most likely due to the low bandwidth nature of the app. So if you want to contribute your short-form video on Reels, you’ll have to use the main app.
You can update Instagram Lite to the latest version to start watching Reels. No news yet as to when this will be available in other territories.