On the 5th of august this year, Instagram introduced its latest product yet; Instagram Reels. This came after the platform was starting to face intense competition from video sharing Platforms like TikTok and Triller.
The Reels feature looked so much like TikTok that if I could use one word to describe it; I would call it “TikTok on steroids”. In an introductory note on their website, Instagram wrote; “Have you ever seen a story that caught your attention but you couldn’t share it, because maybe someone wasn’t following or perhaps you just saw it at the 23rd hour? Reels allow content creators to keep their art alive forever. It is finally the big blow to that 24-hour monster”.
The introduction of Instagram Reels has come at a time when TikTok is facing a ban in America. Many analysts are speculating that it could be a tactical move for Facebook to maintain control in the increasingly competitive social media space. Just like TikTok, Reels allows users to create entertaining goofy videos of themselves and others. This is done by recording and editing short 15-second video clip from the app and fusing it with audio and visual effects coupled with other creative editing tools.
The move by Instagram has caught users off guard. Many reacted with mixed reactions. While some credited Instagram for this new feature, others expressed dismay about its copycat culture and greed. This is the second time Instagram has created a product similar to that of a rival platform. In 2016, Instagram did the same thing by introducing “stories” a concept it had copied from Snapchat.
The future of Instagram Reels is yet to be determined. Only time will tell, however with the exposure and funding that Instagram has, Reels is likely to take over social media by storm. Although usage hasn’t picked up yet, TikTok and Triller may not stand a chance with this one; soon they may have to join their distant cousin Vine.