Instagram is reportedly testing its short video feature- ‘Reels’ with a small group of users in India.
Reels are basically ephemeral (15 second long )videos that can be ‘dubsmashed’, along with accompanying music or dialogues, much like TikTok. Afterwards, these videos can be shared on the user’s stories or via DMs. However, the most interesting part of the new feature will be a new section in the explore tab called ‘Top Reels’, where users will be able to see, as the name suggests, top reels of the moment. To qualify for ‘Top Reels’, the reel has to be made ‘public’.
“Reels is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained. We’re excited to bring this new version to more of our global community. No further plans to share on launch date or countries for now,” Instagram said.
The timing for this feature could not be more perfect. Reels comes just days after the Indian government banned Tiktok along with 58 other Chinese apps. With the biggest competitor in the market gone (or at least on a hiatus), Instagram is planning to launch reels soon in the country, presumably pulling the official launch to an earlier date to woo the content hungry audience.
Last year, Instagram started testing the Reels feature in Brazil, Frace, Germany, and now, after being in testing for about an year, India. Until past year Reels was called Instagram clips and was officially launched in Brazil in November, last year.
Last week, Facebook canceled its own short video feature – ‘lasso’ to make way for Instagram reels. The company had been working on the platform for over an year, before it canceled its plans. Facebook kept delaying its expansion to new regions, and finally decided that building a new platform from scratch just was not worth the headache.