Instagram has officially launched its TikTok rival Reels in more than 50 markets globally, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
The news was announced in a blog post published today (August 5), which describes the feature as “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram”.
The roll-out follows last month’s NBC News report, which, citing ‘sources familiar with the matter’, stated a 2020 worldwide rollout has been ‘in the works for over a year’.
According to the blog post, “Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram”.
Like TikTok, it will allow users to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio and effects.
Instagram users can share reels with their followers on ‘Feed’, and public account holders can make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in ‘Explore’.
Whether you have a public or private account, reels can be shared to a Story, close friends, or in a direct message.
If you do so, reels will behave like a regular Story – it will not be shared to Reels in Explore, it will not appear on your profile, and it will disappear after 24 hours.
“Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.”
To add Audio to a reel, you’ll need to search for a song from the Instagram music library.
You can also use your own original audio by recording a reel with it.
According to Instagram, when a reel is shared with original audio, the audio will be attributed to that user, and if theu have a public account, other people will be able to create reels using that audio by selecting “Use Audio” from their reel.
States Instagram: “Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.”
Facebook-owned Instagram has launched Reels into an increasingly competitive market for video sharing apps.
It was reported at the end of July that Los Angeles-based TikTok rival Triller is raising between $200m and $300m to fuel its expansion.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is in talks with ByteDance to acquire TikTok’s operations in the US and other markets, with TikTok is currently facing a potential ban in the Unites States over data security concerns.
On Monday (August 3), US President Donald Trump also suggested that a “very substantial” cut of the proceeds generated by the potential sale of TikTok to Microsoft should be paid to the United States Treasury.
“At TikTok we welcome competition,” wrote Mayer “We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on.
“Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.”Music Business Worldwide