Facebook has wasted no time in its bid to upstate TikTok in India as the social media giant has reportedly began testing Instagram Reel in the country. This, coming only a couple of days after TikTok and 58 other apps were banned in that country is no surprise—quite a large number of tech writers and social media commentators had predicted this. Per Business Insider, Instagram Reel, which lets you shoot 15-seconds video with music and audio clips and add them to your stories, is now being tested in India.
Users were unable to access the TikTok’s servers a few days after the ban on 59 Chinese apps were announced by the Indian government. This may not be unconnected with the company’s official statement via its Twitter page hours after the ban was announced. In the statement, the company said it plans to comply with the ban issued by the Indian government, while denying any wrongdoing.
“The Government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok and we are in the process of complying with it. We have been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications.”
Citing sources, Business Insider reports that some users have started receiving updates from Instagram that includes Reels.
“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries. Reels is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained. We’re excited to bring this new version to more of our global community. No further plans to share on launch date or countries for now,” a Facebook spokesperson said per Business Insider.
Just as Reel begins to get serious attention from Facebook, one app that will no longer be accessible to users from this Friday is Lasso. Facebook has decided not to continue its expensive attempt at cloning TikTok as Lasso will no longer be available from July 10. While the social media giant has announced it will no longer make Lasso available from next Friday, no one can actually bet against another future dive into such venture especially as TikTok continues to do fine in the market.
Lasso, which was launched a year and a half ago allowed users to shoot 15-seconds video. In a statement per TechCrunch, Facebook confirmed that the app is being discontinued, but failed to provide answers as to why this decision was taken; though, your guess is as good as mine:
“We place multiple bets across our family of apps to test and learn how people want to express themselves. One of these tests was Lasso, our stand-alone short-form video app, which we have decided to shut down. We thank everyone who shared their creativity and feedback with us, which we’ll look to incorporate in our other video experiences.”