With growing concerns over security risks from critics and the Trump Administration, TikTok is facing the pressure of being banned in the U.S. TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing app, is a platform for short video creation and self-expression with 800 million active users worldwide. This app’s growing popularity allows it to be a strong competitor among other large companies including Facebook as they battle for consumers’ attention.
On August 5th, Facebook launched Instagram Reels in 50 countries including the US, Brazil, France, Germany, UK, Japan, and Australia. Similar to TikTok, Reels has features allowing users to create short videos with music, add filters and effects, and share videos among their friends to reach virality. Amid heightened political concerns and uncertainty for the future of TikTok creators, it is a rather fortunate timing for Reels’ launch.
Where to find Reels?
Reels is located in the first tab under the Explore section of Instagram. This product imitates TikTok by customizing the videos according to the interests or likes of users, in hopes of increasing time spent on Instagram. Users also have the option to share it on either the Explore section or feed, or on both.
Facebook has implemented many copycat social media products in the past. In November 2018, Facebook created a rival TikTok product, Lasso, but had a difficult time building a large group of active users as a new standalone app. A more successful clone is Instagram stories, similar to Snapchat stories, permitting users to share daily content with their friends that lasts 24 hours.
Facebook saw a huge market for these short 15-second videos and the need of an outlet for self-expression that will reach larger audiences. Although it is too soon to say whether Reels will garner as much success as Instagram Stories or become another failed copycat product, it has potential to be a viable alternative for consumers if TikTok gets banned.
Beating Out The Competition
The competition to differentiate from other popular social media apps is fierce. Having the flexibility to adapt to the evolving industry trends, while listening and catering to your audience’s unique needs will increase app engagement and user retention. This also fosters loyal consumers, putting you ahead of your competitors.
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