Yesterday, Instagram revealed a new feature called ‘Reels’. What that means is, Instagram is now allowing you to create videos in the exact same form as TikTok.
With America threatening to ban the app on September 15th and India already having done so, the security breaches are of main concern for world leaders and with the ban of the app imminent in the US, a new feature from Instagram could help heal the (soon-to-be) missing TikTok hole in everyone’s heart.
In the new ‘Reels’ feature, you can add music (just like TikTok), pause filming (just like TikTok), record short snippets (just like TikTok) and add effects and filters (just like TikTok). The new feature also allows you to post to your Instagram page and share with the Explore page in the hopes to go viral (just like TikTok).
Related: Is TikTok the New Instagram?
THE COPYCAT APP
Instagram isn’t new to stealing ideas as we all remember how Snapchat was the first to premier ‘Stories’ showing images and videos for only 24 hours at a time.
At Instagram’s first story introduction, we scoffed at their blatant copying and thought we could never divert from Snapchat. Now? Who uses Snapchat anymore?
Instagram even tried to leverage on long-form video content, trying to take over from YouTube with IGTV. It wasn’t an immediate success, but also wasn’t a complete flop either.
I do still see the odd IGTV video here and there but I really don’t think the format took off how they expected. With time, it could become bigger.
HOW CAN INSTAGRAM DO THIS?
There really is no subtlety from Instagram with copying features from Snapchat and TikTok, so how do they get away with such blatant copyright?
Is it the difference in name used? Is that how they get away with it? But then what about Snapchat ‘Stories’ and Instagram ‘Stories’? Well, I guess Instagram technically call the stories ‘Highlights’.
Perhaps there is no real legality in copying coding and the content that users can create on apps. But the timing is very good from Instagram in this instance just as TikTok is soon to be banned from the US. Although they do say this is merely coincidence.
Oh Mark Zuckerberg, you’re just too clever and just too rich.
WHICH APP SHOULD I USE?
At the moment, the Instagram app is only showing the most popular videos at the forefront, whereas TikTok tailors videos to your liking and your own content (which personally, I think is better).
It may only be a short-term thing until Instagram starts to understand the kind of videos that you like to watch, but for me TikTok has the upperhand on this front.
Reels will be embedded within the Instagram app, meaning you won’t have to change apps to view the videos. It seems like Instagram are trying to make the app of all apps as you can now shop, watch live content and be directed to links all within the one app.
Just like TikTok started out, Instagram only allows 15 second videos at the moment, but I assume it will progress to 60 seconds just like TikTok in a short amount of time.
As you can already add music to your Instagram Stories, Instagram has an extensive music library which will enable you to add music to videos too – just like TikTok!
SHOULD WE ALL BE ON TIKTOK?
From a social media marketing point of view? Yes. Yes, you should.
As soon as any new form of social media starts to gain traction, you should get yourself on that app. You want to spread your brand as far and wide as you can and you don’t want to miss out if this new social media app takes off and takes over.
If the app doesn’t take off, it doesn’t take off. But at least you tried it, right? What would have happened if you sat back and said it was just a phase, but suddenly everyone was using the app and you had to start at the bottom, behind everyone else?
WHAT ABOUT THE INFLUENCER INDUSTRY?
The new Reels feature may be a strong positive for the influencer marketing industry as it would enable content to be created in the one app.
A content package could include static posts on the influencer’s grid, some stories, and IGTV video and now a Reel video. So much content within one app and a lot of reach.
With Reels now being introduced, it also means that 1 billion people may stop using TikTok and stay on Instagram. Bad news for TikTok, but if Reels take off, it may be a great move from Instagram and accelerate their growth to possibly the biggest app in the world (if it’s not already labeled as so).
Mark Zuckerberg isn’t here to take part. He’s here to take over.