Instagram has expanded its TikTok rival, Reels, in India following the recent ban of Chinese apps over security concerns that has affected over 59 apps. Reels is a video editing tool designed to let people create a short video that can be shared on their Instagram Stories, sent via DM, or post to a section of the Explore tab called Top Reels.
The feature was initially rolled out in Brazil in November last year. Last month, Reel was rolled out in France and Germany and is reportedly being tested in India. This new development comes right after the TikTok ban that the government imposed last week. Some Instagram users are said to already have the Reels feature through an update. However, it is yet to be available to all Instagrammers in the country.
“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch when asked about the feature’s arrival in India. “Reels,” they added, “is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained.”
Facebook has previously integrated similar features from competing apps into its own services to better compete with them. In 2016 we reported that Instagram’s Stories feature was a “near-perfect copy” of Snapchat stories feature. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted TikTok’s similarity to Instagram’s Explore tab, indicating that it may play host to part of the company’s attempts to compete with its Chinese rival.
Following the ban of TikTok, Shareit, UC browser, WeChat, Weibo, Xender, QQ Mail, Xender, Viva Video among other apps which will give Instagram Reels a chance to penetrate in the Indian Market. However, Reuters recently reported a surge in popularity for other Indian video-sharing apps, like Roposo, Chingari and Mitron who will directly compete with Instagram Reel. Roposo for example, since the ban, has since seen its user base jump by 22 million.