tech

Facebook copies TikTok with ‘Instagram Reels’ video clips feature

Not that we didn’t see it coming, Facebook has copied the top feature of its rival, again. Here’s what you need to know about the TikTok-inspired Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels launches in Brazil
Instagram Reels launches in Brazil (TechCrunch/Instagram)

Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday launched 'Instagram Reels' in Brazil. Available for iOS and Android, Instagram Reels allows users to create 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Instagram Stories - pretty much like TikTok.

The feature offers a big catalogue of music which users can add to their video stories. Users can find Instagram Reels next to Boomerang and Super-Zoom modes. The new mode allows users to borrow audio from in-app search or search from the catalogue, according to TechCrunch. There are some editing tools as well.

The new mode isn't Facebook's first attempt to compete with TikTok. The company last year introduced a short video sharing app called "Lasso." The application, however, never made it markets outside the US.

 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently slammed TikTok for censoring content critical of the Chinese government. "While our services, like WhatsApp, are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the U.S.," Zuckerberg said in a post. "Is that the internet we want?"

 

"Until recently, the internet in almost every country outside China has been defined by American platforms with strong free expression values," he added. "There's no guarantee these values will win out. A decade ago, almost all of the major internet platforms were American. Today, six of the top ten are Chinese."

Despite scrutiny around the world, TikTok has continued to grow in popularity. As of September 2019, TikTok is the most downloaded social media application worldwide, according to Sensor Tower. India contributed to the 44% of its total downloads.