Well this didn’t take long. Facebook just announced a new service that it hopes will fill the TikTok vacuum as the US presses the Chinese short video service to sell its United States service to Microsoft by September 15. Facebook just announced Reels, a TikTok-like app that integrates into Instagram. In fact, if you have clicked on the Explore tab in Instagram today, you may have been surprised to see it as I have. The service is available in 50 countries starting today.
But according to the Facebook blog, the service will be launched globally from Monday in the App Store and Google Play Store. Not even mincing words, Instagram defines the service as “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.” This is what Vine and now TikTok does. Instagram introduces filters and other effects to your 15 seconds clip which can be set to music as well. It is a standalone service but an integration into Instagram means that you can post those clips directly into your Stories and profile. “Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.”
This service is available to all users including business and private profiles.
This is just all complicated because Microsoft which had invested about $240m in Facebook back in 2007 is now buying a social media rival that has employed some former Facebook employees and uses an office that used be for a Facebook company, WhatsApp. Facebook used to have a service juts like TikTok called Lasso but decided to shut it down. Now that it look like Microsoft may well be on their way to being the new owners of TikTok, Facebook decides to step in before that becomes a reality next month hopefully (that is Microsoft and the TikTok owners can agree and if the US government doesn’t insist that Microsoft pays a “substantial” amount to it).
Well check you Explore section to see if you can access Reel from today.