in a bid to challenge the hugely popular Chinese video app TikTok, Facebook’s Instagram has launched its own a short-video feature called Instagram Reels.
The new Instagram feature will allow users to record and edit 15-second videos with audio. It will let users add visual effects through a proprietary tool . Users will be able to share Reels with followers in Instagram in a dedicated section called Reels in Explore, or in the Story feature where posts disappear after 24 hours.
Reels represents a major investment for Instagram with the new feature showcased prominently within the app. Several content creators have been roped in with heft fees to participate in its launch.
Facebook has never shied away from cloning competitive services. During a Congressional hearing recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questions about the company's questionable practice of ‘copying’ rivals.
Four years ago Instagram rolled out Instagram Stories in which photos disappear after 24 hour. This was strikingly similar to disappearing-messages feature of rival Snapchat.
Facebook had also launched a TikTok like feature called Lasso in 2018, but closed that down in July.
Facebook’s plan for a short video app evoked strong reaction from TikTok. The Chief Executive of the company Kevin Mayer described Reels a “copycat product” and added, “To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on.”
Instagram is also reported to be paying huge monies to TikTok influencers to defect to Reels. Instagram said in a statement that the company “have a long history of reaching out to emerging creators and working to break new stars on Instagram."
TikTok itself has deployed a $1 billion creator fund supports US creators who are building livelihoods from our platform.
Facebook’s new video feature comes in the background of an attempt by Microsoft to buy the TikTok. In 2014, the company paid $2.5 billion to purchase game developer Mojang, whose Minecraft title is huge popular among younger users who also make up TikTok’s core audience in the U.S.
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