Update Aug 5, 2020: Instagram Reels, a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram, is now launched globally.
Nov 12, 2019: Instagram is working on a new video editing tool that appears to be very similar to TikTok. The tool called ‘Reels’, previously known as Clips, will allow users to post stories and self-made videos that are recorded in bits and pieces.
Users can set their videos to music, selecting tracks from Instagram’s huge music catalog or by using the audio from a publicly shared Reels video. Now that sounds quite familiar as it is one of the core features of TikTok.
Unlike TikTok, as TechCrunch reports, users can post Reels to a Close Friends group or via a Direct Message. The new feature is similar to the Boomerang and Super-Zoom selectors inside Stories.
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Facebook has previously tried to clone the app’s success with a standalone product called Lasso, but it’s difficult to build a user base from scratch. Instagram previously had great success with this tactic copying Snapchat’s signal Stories feature in 2016.
It is not uncommon for Instagram to copy other social media apps. Insta’s new feature was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong a 23-year-old ‘reverse’ engineer from Hong Kong. The new feature will initially roll out in Brazil before potentially rolling out elsewhere. This could help Instagram nail down its customization and onboarding strategy.
The tool is called Reels and is available on both iOS and Android.