20 August 2020
Instagram has officially made Reels available around the world. It s a TikTok clone and rival feature that was available in select countries like Brazil and India as part of an early release. It made its first debut in November 2019 and after months of limited availability, it has now expanded globally with the goal of defeating TikTok.
Instagram Reels works on the same concept as TikTok i.e. the ability to create short video clips. A user can create a "Reel" of up to 15 seconds in length. It does not need to be shot in a single go as it supports pausing the video and then resuming. This way, you can take multiple angle shots within a single video without any editing. There is support for adding background music, AR effects, adjusting playback speed, and setting a timer. A user can also import videos from the gallery for creating a reel.
The good thing is one does not have to install a new app for using the feature. It sits within the main Instagram app and can be accessed by tapping the camera icon on the top left corner of the Feed section. All Reels are visible globally through the Explore section unless the user has a private account. This section can be used for browsing Reels created others and following accounts that catch your interest.
Instagram seems to have chosen the right time to make Reels available everywhere. TikTok has already been banned in India citing security and privacy reasons. It is also facing the heat from U.S. President Donald Trump and as a result, Microsoft's intentions of acquiring TikTok operations in the country are currently facing roadblocks.