Instagram launches TikTok rival Reels as Chinese social video app suffers major blow in India and the US
It’s been a bad few weeks for TikTok. Last month, the Chinese social app TikTok was caught reading data from user clipboards. The ByteDance-owned app was caught after TikTok users were notified by Apple that TikTok was reading data from their clipboards.
Then in a major blow to TikTok, the India government last week Monday banned 59 Chinese apps accusing TikTok of engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India. If that wasn’t bad enough, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the United States is “looking at” banning popular Chinese video app TikTok in the wake of the new law in Hong Kong.
Taking advantage of TikTok’s demise, Instagram and parent company Facebook announced the launch of Reels, a competitor to TikTok. Reels allows users to record 15 second videos and add music from a huge library or record their own background tunes. Recordings made on Reels can be shared via Instagram Stories or in a post. Reels allows you to create and edit short videos clips up to 15 seconds in the Instagram Camera and potentially go viral as part of the Explore page — essentially, a TikTok-like feature. . User can also add effects and music to their reel or use their own.
This is not the first time Facebook has attempted to copy TikTok. As we reported on Monday, in late 2018, Facebook launched Lasso, a short-video sharing app aimed at teenager. At the time, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to ByteDance’s TikTok, an app that is third most popular among teenagers. Facebook later made a decision to shut down Lasso. The app is scheduled to be shutdown on July 10. Experts also said the shutdown may have to do with the roll out of Reels.