Instagram will launch its own service rival to TikTok, which will be called Reels.
Starting next month Reels will start going live across all territories. At the moment the functionality is being tested in Brazil. Many of Instagram's new features, for example "ending likes" are tested out in this market first.
Reels will be accessed by users via a new icon at the bottom of the screen in Instagram. Then Instagram users will then be able to post content directly to Instagram's main feed. You may have noticed many TikTok videos are downloaded and then reposted posted onto Instagram already, the introduction of Reels from Instagram will present itself as a huge competitor to the Chinese social media platform.
Instagram has dubbed Reels a 'video remix feature' which allows someone to take a 15-second video and then post that clip to their story, but the videos can also be sent as private messages - a feature which TikTok doesn't boast yet. This offering is bound to attract the younger audience who have flocked to TikTok during the pandemic.
It's thought that Reels was originally meant to be called "Clips" and it spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a online security researcher who is an expert at spotting unreleased features on apps and social media platforms.
Wong explained "By reverse engineering, I noticed that Instagram has been working on a new Story Camera mode called “Clips” since early July."
She also explained how Instagram's answer to TikTok will work, "Just like TikTok, “Clips” allows users to record segments of videos into a single video Story. Just like TikTok, users can overlay music on clips. Just like TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips."
It appears that Instagram will also be using its 'Explore' page to feature Reels videos as a way to promote it within the platform.
So far TikTok has more than 500 million active users and the company is worth more than £58 billion. However in June of 2018, Instagram had reached one billion monthly active users, up from 800 million in September 2017.
The app is one of the most popular social networks in the world, which means that the introduction of Reels could dominate TikTok if it's implementation is successful.
Written by: Natalie Salmon