With news now circulating of attempts to ban the app TikTok in the United States, it appears that other companies are appealing to followers of the Chinese app. Specifically, Instagram has launched the Reels feature of their app.
Reels allows users to create a short, 15-second long video while adding popular music and other effects. It’s a pretty shameless attempt to use the same sort of format that made TikTok so famous. Instagram received similar criticism when they introduced Stories to the app following the success of Snapchat’s feature.
There are a couple of factors that will influence whether or not Reels will be able to capture and retain the number of followers that TikTok has. If TikTok does end up getting banned in the U.S., that will leave many producers and followers of their content in need of a place to go. The other factor is whether or not Reels actually matches up well in terms of features to TikTok. The fact that it fits neatly into the Instagram ecosystem is also a boon. Sending the videos to friends and Instagram-specific AR filters and tools are other pros for the new video sharing service.
Whether TikTok gets banned or not, it will certainly be interesting to see how Instagram’s Reels matches up to the worldwide phenomenon that replaced Vine.