Facebook Attacks TikTok With Instagram Update

Jon Markman

One week removed from a Washington hearing about anti-competitive practices, Facebook ((FB) -Get Report) is releasing new software that looks and acts surprisingly like TikTok, its fast-growing social media rival.

Reels launches today in 50 markets including the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. The project is being offered as a feature inside Instagram, Facebook’s wildly popular picture-based social platform.

According to a report at the Verge:

Similar to TikTok, Reels lets people create short-form videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app. It’s the newest opportunity for Instagram to bring in users, increase the amount of time people spend in the app every day, and establish itself as a video entertainment platform.

Reels allows people to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, as well as an array of filters and effects, over top of them. For creators looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram has revamped its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through — similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.”

It's tough not to be impressed by the brazenness at Facebook. Product managers at the social media company seems to be completely unfazed by Washington, or threats of regulation. For stakeholders, that’s a good thing. 

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