After many US technology companies have tried to produce replica applications at “TikTok” to reduce their growing popularity among teens and young people around the world, Instagram – owned by Facebook – launched a new feature in its application to embed video with the music.
The new “Reels” feature allows users to create 15 second clips that embed the video with music and share them as “stories” in the Instagram app, with the ability to become popular in the “Best Reels” section under the heading “Explore”.
Like TikTok, users can create audio tracks for what they produce by choosing a huge music index, or by borrowing audio from a video for any other user to create the desired remix.
The “Reels” feature is now introduced for Android and iOS devices, but will only be available to users in Brazil, where it will be called “Cenas”. Reels enjoys most of the popular features of Instagram, together forming a strong competitor at TikTok with its many benefits and 1.5 billion monthly users worldwide, including 122 million in the US alone, according to Sensor Tower.
Instead of starting from scratch like Facebook’s Lasso app, Instagram is looking to promote Reels intensively to one billion of its users.
But the challenge for Instagram will be to reorganize the way they use their application to become a simple social media with spontaneous self-portraits such as “stories” or daily publications, in social entertainment based on stories.
Instagram’s product manager, Robbie Stein, admits that “Musicali and TikTok deserve a lot of credit for making this style popular.” A rehearsal of what Instagram founder Kevin Systrom said about Snapchat when Instagram launched the “Stories” feature, where he said “they deserve all the credit”, before copying Snapchat to Instagram, to the point that Snapchat is stops growing for three years.
Ironically, Chinese start-ups have always been criticized for emulating US companies, but the launch of Reels signals a major shift in tradition in the opposite direction.