Instagram Reels, Facebook’s TikTok-like short video platform, is releasing in over fifty markets after testing in a few countries, NBC reported Thursday. Reels was released in India days after the government banned TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese apps. Facebook confirmed that Reels was coming to the US. In a statement, the company told us, “We’re excited to bring Reels to more countries, including the US, in early August. The community in our test countries has shown so much creativity in short-form video, and we’ve heard from creators and people around the world that they’re eager to get started as well.”
Reels’s US release comes at a time when the federal government is considering options to ban TikTok. ByteDance, which owns TikTok, indicated that it was considering separating TikTok from its Chinese owners, for instance by changing the subsidiary’s managing structure.
Instagram Reels in India
Facebook released Instagram Reels in India after testing the app in Brazil, France and Germany. In the country, Reels faces stiff competition in the fallout, including from apps like InMobi’s Roposo, which claims to be adding 500,000 users per hour, and that it expects to reach 100 million users by the end of July. That’s more users than Instagram’s monthly active userbase in the country (88 million).
Roposo may have momentum, but that’s only understandable given the sheer size that TikTok reached in India, with 200 million users, just 41 million shy of Facebook, which is India’s largest social media platform. Others are getting in on the game too, with OTT platform Zee5 announcing that, like Instagram, it will build a TikTok-like short video platform named HiPi that will go into its existing app.