Instagram’s Reels is about the biggest competitor to TikTok. The feature was launched to not only compete with TikTok, but to help attract more users to Instagram. A couple of weeks after its official launch, Instagram has now updated the feature with the ability to make longer videos. At launch, you could only make a 15-second video, but that has now changed. Going forward you can now upload up to 30-second video on Reels.
“We continue to improve Reels based on people’s feedback, and these updates make it easier to create and edit,” Tessa Lyons-Laing, product director on Reels, said per The Verge. “While it’s still early, we’re seeing a lot of entertaining, creative content.”
Though Instagram had started testing Reels before India banned TikTok and Trump threatened to do the same, Facebook quickly rolled out the feature in order to take advantage of the situation.
The TikTok-cloned feature was first launched in the US, UK, Japan, Mexico, and in about 50 other countries of the world. This was after Instagram had tested Reels in India; a country where TikTok’s major headache started from.
The India launch was significant considering the fact that it was one of TikTok’s strongholds before the hammer fell. India also represents one of the biggest markets for Instagram, and extending the availability of Reels to that market is a smart move.
TikTok faces uncertain times in the US and India; this presents Facebook with its over 3 billion users a huge chance to catch up some numbers. TikTok unsurprisingly happens to be the place for teens; but with recent government scrutiny in the US and the recent ban in India, things may never be the same again.
“With the rise in video consumption overall and videos making up over a third of posts on Instagram in India, Instagram has a big role to play in unleashing expression in the country,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said per New India Express.
TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps were banned in India for reasons bothering privacy and security. Users were unable to access the TikTok’s servers a few days after the ban was 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.
While TikTok is still trying to get it right with authorities in different countries, Instagram Reels will have the chance to impress its users and convince everyone that they are in safe hands.