Weeks after the Indian government banned TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese apps, Instagram has announced that it is expanding the test of its new Reels feature in India.
Instagram Reels feature, similar to the essence of the TikTok app, is dedicated to helping users create short-form videos with VFX, in-library music, speed adjustment tools, among others. Similar to TikTok, on Instagram Reels, you will also see an option to surf through popular audios and see what all content has been created using that particular audio.
Now, Instagram is hoping to fill India’s TikTok-size void with its own video-sharing feature called Reels. Facebook (FB), Instagram’s parent company, said it would begin testing Reels in India on Wednesday.
“We’re excited to expand our test of Instagram Reels to India,” a Facebook spokesperson said. Reels gives anyone the ability to create and discover short-form videos, which is how more and more people are enjoying and creating content.”
.Instagram began testing Reels in Brazil in November and has since expanded into France and Germany. The in-app tool lets users record 15-second videos set to music and audio, and upload them to their stories, similar to TikTok.
.Facebook also said it is shutting down its own TikTok-like app, Lasso, to focus on Reels.
.On being asked if the launch of Reels in India was triggered and accelerated by the TikTok ban, Ajit Mohan, VP, and MD Facebook India said testing of Reels had been in the works and is consistent with the emphasis Facebook has placed on India over the last few months and is triggered by the growing appetite for short-form videos on Instagram. “Any other association to explain it would not be accurate. Instagram has grown remarkably fast in India. Enabled by the rapid expansion and access to mobile broadband, users have embraced videos dramatically. Videos make up over one-third of posts on Instagram in India now and Reels would give an opportunity to create global stars out of India. We have a lever for local creators to go global,” Mohan said.
.Vishal Shah, VP, product, at Facebook said Reels is filling the missing short-form video piece in the media ecosystem on Instagram. “The feed videos that people post on Instagram are 15 seconds or less. So the idea of coming to the platform to consume short-form videos is very much there. We want to make it easier for them to create that content and be easily discovered. And that is really the reason and rationale for why we built Reels.”