Due to the dispute over TikTok’s potential ban in the US, a new tool on Instagram has emerged: Reels. Reels is similar to TikTok in many ways, but will it be close enough to rise to the current social media giant’s level?
During this course there has been an interesting change in the ever evolving world of social media. TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-60 second videos, on any topic. Lip-syncs, music, talent, political, comedy videos; you name it and it’s on TikTok. The app is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and boasts around 524 million active users worldwide.
Lately there has been a threat to TikTok’s influence online. In the United States, President Trump issued executive orders that will ban the Chinese from the U.S. market on September 20, 2020 (i.e. the app will not be available for download in app stores, organizations in the US cannot advertise on the platforms, nor can they create licensing agreements with TikTok).
There is a large dispute over whether this will be the end of TikTok’s popularity as the US makes up a large portion of the app’s users; however, that is a different blog post…
In the meanwhile, the internet is preparing itself for a reality without the popular app. Reels is Instagram’s attempt to fill the potential gap.
- Reels will have a short format limit of 15 seconds that users can add multiple clips within.
- Users can edit their work by adding music or original sound, changing the speed of their video, and add filters.
- The Reels can then be posted to one’s main or separate feed, similar to IGTV.
But will these be enough to satisfy ardent TikTok lovers? So far, no. While many creators are using Reels simply because they may not have a choice within a month, there is a huge feature missing: an algorithm. On TikTok, videos related to a user’s interests are presented through a “For You” page, which Instagram lacks, while Instagram has an explore page, it’s not nearly as accurat, engaging or user friendly as TikTok. Reels also lacks TikTok’s helpful editing features, like clip trimming and song suggestions that elevate the video creation process.
Right now Reels is the inferior Tik Tok, but it may be American’s only option come September 20th.
What do you think of Reels?