Instagram is upping its efforts to compete with TikTok. A new report from TechCrunch today details that the company has debuted Instagram Reels, which makes it easy to create 15-second video clips set to music.
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Speaking to TechCrunch, Instagram director of product management Robby Stein explained that “no two products are exactly the same,” despite similarities that might exist between Reels and TikTok:
“No two products are exactly the same, and at the end of the day, sharing video with music is a pretty universal idea we think everyone might be interested in using. The focus has been on how to make this a unique format for us.” The key to that divergence? “Your friends are already all on Instagram. I think that’s only true of Instagram.”
Currently, the Instagram Reels feature is located in the Instagram Stories shutter modes tray next to the existing Boomerang and Super-Zoom features. The key focus of Instagram Reels is making it easy to discover audio to use for the 15-second clips.
Users can choose from popular and trending songs, borrow the audio from another video through hashtag search or Explore, or record with silence. TechCrunchexplains how the music aspect works:
Facebook’s enormous music collection secured from all the major labels and many indie publishers powers Reels. Users pick the chunk of the song they want, and can then record or upload multiple video clips to fill out their Reel.
From there, Instagram Reels also features a new set of editing tools. There is support for timed captions, new transitions, video filters, special effects, and more. Stein said that more advanced transitions and effects are also coming soon.
The clear purpose of Instagram Reels is to make it easier to create TikTok-like viral videos directly in the Instagram app, then share them to Instagram Stories.
Currently, Instagram Reels is available only in Brazil. There’s no timetable on when it might launch in other countries, but it’s not unprecedented for Instagram to test a feature in one market before a wider rollout commences.
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