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Zuckerberg goes after TikTok with Instagram ‘Reels’

Instagram on Wednesday launched Reels, a short-form video feature to rival Tiktok.

Users can make 15-second videos inside the Instagram app using editing tools to help film different clips, which can be shared within a new tab on Instagram’s public Explore page.

The social app, which is owned by Facebook, is seeking to capitalise on the success of under fire Tiktok where users largely discover new videos on an algorithmic feed rather than spend time following creators.

“Introducing a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram. Reels is rolling out today to more than 50 countries around the world,” said Instagram.

The debut of Reels in the US and in India comes as concerns over TikTok’s livelihood in both countries.

The Indian government last month banned hundreds of Chinese apps among them TikTok.

In the US, the Trump administration is weighing a country-wide ban on TikTok due to its ties to China, where the app’s parent company ByteDance is based.

TikTok is wildly popular and has more than 2 billion global downloads worldwide.

Instagram says creators will be able to share Reels videos privately with their friends and followers via direct messages or on their Stories, but they also now have the opportunity to be discovered by Instagram’s massive audience within its Explore tab if they wish to do so and if their accounts are set to public.

After posting a Reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on the user’s profile so they can see likes, comments and the number of views it has received.

It comes as Tiktok faces growing scrutiny in the US and Europe, as regulators wonder how to manage its growing popularity.

For now, Instagram is focusing on rolling Reels out and getting users to adopt it.

Executives say it’s not focused on how it will make money with Reels quite yet.