Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor 'Reels'

Instagram has today officially launched "Reels," a new short-form video service set to rival TikTok, in over 50 countries, including the U.S., India, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and the U.K. Reels is part of the Instagram camera of the existing Instagram app.

Instagram says that Reels are "a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos." The service features the ability to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with music from the Instagram library, AR effects, and various new creative editing tools. Reels can be shared with followers on "Feed", or for public accounts, made available to all users worldwide via a new space in "Explore." Reels' most significant difference from TikTok is supposedly its tie-ins to the overarching Instagram ecosystem.

Last month, it was reported that Instagram was offering significant cash incentives to TikTok creators to persuade them to move to Reels. Incentive payments for some were claimed to be in the "hundreds of thousands of dollars," with the highest payouts for creators who commit to posting their videos exclusively to Reels. The move was a clear indication that Instagram views Reels as a direct competitor to TikTok. In April, YouTube announced "Shorts," a new service that will also replicate the short video format to compete with TikTok.

"I think TikTok deserves a ton of credit for popularizing formats in this space, and it's just great work,” Instagram's product director, Robby Stein, told The Verge. "But at the end of the day, no two products are exactly alike, and ours are not either."

The company's line on similarity with TikTok is similar to the approach taken with "Stories," launched in 2016 as a competitor to Snapchat. Instagram Stories soon had more active daily users than Snapchat itself.

The launch of Reels comes as TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, faces immense scrutiny in the United States, and Microsoft negotiates a purchase of the service.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
God bless those innovative minds at Facebook
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
Oh, thank goodness I can use a short-form video app from a trustworthy company like Facebook that won't steal my personal data like China!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
TikTok and Reels confirm to me that Vine was:

A) Ahead of its time
B) Too restrictive to creating engaging content
C) Grossly mismanaged by Twitter
D) All of the above
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
Can someone just please take Facebook to court already and stop this copy cat bull!! Can’t wait for that cancerous company to die.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
How lucky for Facebook that the White House attacks their only true competitor just as they launch a copycat product.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 weeks ago
IDK, I kind of prefer Facebook over the CCP.... still I don’t like Facebook at all
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...