Instagram has confirmed that its TikTok rival, Reels, will be launching in the US soon. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is going to bring in Reels, which is a special video feature designed for short-form content like TikTok, to the platform for the US by early August, a spokesperson had said.
Reels has already been launched in India and has been tested in France, Brazil and Germany. TikTok getting banned in India left a huge void in the social media space as far as short-video content is concerned and several Indian alternatives like Chingari, Mitron, Roposo etc have rushed in to fill the space. It only makes sense for Instagram to roll out Reels first in India to ride the trend of upcoming TikTok alternatives. And it looks like the US is next on the Reels map.
According to an NBC News report, Instagram is planning to roll out Reels to the US soon followed by 50 other countries in a “matter of weeks”. The Facebook spokesperson did not provide a specific date for the US rollout but did confirm that it was going to be launched in other countries as well in early August.
Reels has been created to take on TikTok directly and the feature that’s built into Instagram allows users to post 15-second videos. Reels also offers a set of editing tools to make it easier to record and upload content, like TikTok does, but it does not have the two-tabbed, scrollable feed like TikTok. These Reels can be seen from your Explore tab and also as normal posts on your timeline.
Instagram launching Reels in the US next also ties in with the possibility of TikTok being banned in the US as the Trump administration was mulling a similar move. India cited national security reasons for banning TikTok and America is speaking the same language. There is no confirmation about this, though the government has been considering it.
Instagram is not the only platform that’s looking to encash in on the TikTok ban, Snapchat has been testing a TikTok-like navigation for its public video content and YouTube is also testing something similar.