Soon after India banned TikTok and other Chinese apps over privacy concerns, Instagram has started testing Reels which is a rival to TikTok in the region.
The test also comes just a few days after Facebook announced that Lasso a TikTok clone would be shutting down on July 10. Other than India, Reel is also live in Brazil, France and Germany.
Reels has been designed to be a feature within Instagram itself. Reels allows users to create and post short, 15-second videos set to music or other audio, similar to TikTok. Also like TikTok, the feature offers a set of editing tools like a countdown timer and those that adjust the video’s speed, for example — that aim to make it easier to record creative content. However, Instagram doesn’t have the same sort of two-tabbed, scrollable feed, like TikTok offers, just for watching Reels’ content.
The ban has led to TikTok losing its largest overseas market thus enabling to swoop in and pick up new users for Reels. Before the ban, TikTok had amassed more than 200 million users in India, which is a significant loss for the Beijing-headquartered video app.
However, Reels will have to face some homegrown competition in the form of other Indian video-sharing apps, like Roposo, Chingari and Mitron. Roposo even saw its user base jump by 22 million in the two days after India banned TikTok.