Instagram rolls out TikTok ‘copycat product’ Reels in Australia
After a year’s planning, Instagram has launched its much-hyped new feature Reels.
It allows users to create short-form videos with audio, music and visual effects and appears in the Instagram app alongside products like Stories, Live and IGTV.
Users can share with Instagram’s one billion global users in a dedicated section called Reels in Explore, or in Story where a post lasts for 24 hours.
“Instagram is where millions of Australians come every day to express themselves and be entertained,” Facebook ANZ managing director Will Easton said.
“Our community is telling us they want to make and watch short-form, edited videos, which is exactly how we’ve developed the Reels experience.
“Whether you are a creator with a passion to share or a business with a story to tell, our new Reels format empowers your creativity and helps you reach new audiences on a global stage.”
TikTok chief executive officer, Kevin Maye, last week lashed out at Reels as a “copycat product” and labelling the new feature a “maligning” attack from its biggest competitor.
Instagram’s Stories, released in 2016, seemed more than reminiscent to Snapchat’s Stories.
Earlier this year Instagram head Adam Mosseri responded when quizzed about the similarity.
“We are in a place where we have to be willing to acknowledge when someone did something awesome and try to learn from it,” Mosseri said.
But Reels is an obvious step for Instagram: short-form video, including the TikTok content posted on the platform, are driving user engagement in big numbers.
It reveals that 45% of all video uploaded to Instagram is under 15 seconds.
Instagram has also allayed fears by TikTok creators and users of an impending ban and private data allegedly being shared with Beijing.
Reels’ privacy and safety features include letting users decide who gets to see their content, restrict viewing and filter comments.
Instagram first tested Reels in Brazil last November and later launched it in India, France and Germany. The Australian launch comes as part of a roll-out to 50 new markets.