To quickly catch you up, India recently banned several Chinese apps including TikTok. The Indian government claimed that the apps were “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India”
Tensions between the two countries are high. This New York Times article explains the conflict.
India’s TikTok audience accounts for 44% of the apps 2 billion downloads.
— TikTok India (@TikTok_IN) June 30, 2020
The app being banned means that there’s a vacuum in the social media space that TikTok reigned in.
This is where Instagram Reels comes in. Reels is a TikTok clone by the giant Facebook-owned photo and video sharing platform.
With Reels, you are allowed to record short, 15-second video clips that are set to music or audio and then shared on the platform.
It’s no surprise here as Instagram has been copying features from rival apps such as Snapchat and now that TikTok is gaining polarity with millennials and gen Z, they are rolling out Reels to try and reclaim them.
Instagram is now rolling out Reels for Stories now that TikTok isn’t available(TikTok removed their apps from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store)
The feature is already available in Brazil, Germany and France.
“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries. Reels is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained. We’re excited to bring this new version to more of our global community. No further plans to share on launch date or countries for now,” said a Facebook spokesperson to Business Insider.
It’ll be interesting see how this plays out. Indian users spent more than 34 minutes on the app when compared to the 23 minutes spent on Instagram.
It’s is worth noting that TikTok creators in India are already asking their audiences to follow them on Instagram.