After India bans TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps over privacy concerns, Instagram has expanded its TikTok rival, known as Reels. The test in India also comes only days after Facebook announced its standalone TikTok clone, Lasso, would be shutting down.
Unlike Lasso, which had been its own separate app, Reels has been designed to be a feature within Instagram itself. Reels allows users to create and post short, 15-second videos set to music or other audio, similar to TikTok. Also like TikTok, the feature offers a set of editing tools like a countdown timer and those that adjust the video’s speed, for example that aim to make it easier to record creative content.
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Following the launch of Reels last year in Brazil, Instagram updated the feature based on user feedback. Users said they wanted a space to compile their Reels and watch those made by others. To address these concerns, Instagram moved Reels to a dedicated space on the user Profile page and now features Reels in its Explore section, if they’re published by a public account.
For starters, Facebook in June announced it had entered a global deal with Saregama, one of India’s largest music labels, which would allow it to license music for videos and other social experiences across both Facebook and Instagram.
Before its removal, TikTok had amassed more than 200 million users in India, which is a significant loss for the Beijing-headquartered video app.