Menlo Park, California-based Instagram is coming for those TikTok dollars! While in the midst of battling president Donald Trump who’s threatened to ban the Beijing-based company unless it’s sold to a U.S. company, TikTok is also under attacked by Instagram, which has announced the U.S. roll out of Reels, a copycat platform housed within Instagram.
Reels first launched in Brazil in November 2019 followed by France and Germany. After TikTok was banned in India, the app’s second biggest market, Reels pounced and at the time announced it would continue to add new countries with plans to land in the United States in August.
Just like TikTok, Reels enables users to create 15-second videos set to music and audio, a function that can be accessed within Instagram’s camera interface.
Mimicking one of TikTok’s key features, users can also borrow and remix audio from other people’s videos. Putting an emphasis on viral videos, Reel also includes Featured Reel, a feed filled with popular clips.
Finished videos can either be posted to a separate Reels tab on one’s profile, or share on the central Instagram feed.
TikTok made note of the U.S. launch of Reels on Twitter where the account quote-tweeted Instagram’s announcement with a caption reading: “well… this looks familiar.”
well… this looks familiar 🤔😉 https://t.co/V8GyRSXkPu— TikTok (@tiktok_us) August 6, 2020
Still, while TikTok is currently taking it on the chin from Trump, the company has vowed it will fight to remain in the United States.
TikTok’s general manager, Vanessa Pappas, announced on Twitter on August 1st that the company is hanging tough. In a video she stated, “We’re not planning on going anywhere.” Making the most of the company’s growth in an economy that’s in the midst of sinking, Pappas also pointed out the companies plans to bring 10,000 more U.S. jobs in the next few years.”
Microsoft early on has expressed on interest in purchasing TikTok and today the WSJ reported Twitter is also involved in negotiations. According to WSJ, Microsoft remains the likely winner of TikTok’s business in the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while talks with with Twitter were solely centered on its North American business.
A message to the TikTok community. pic.twitter.com/UD3TR2HfEf— TikTok (@tiktok_us) August 1, 2020