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Facebook Launches Reels—a Similar Product to TikTok—in the U.S.

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Facebook  (FB) - Get Free Report launched Instagram Reels in the U.S. and in over 50 countries on Wednesday

The company announced the new feature, saying Instagram Reels is "a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram."

"Reels allows you to create and edit short video up to 15 seconds in the Instagram Camera," said Facebook. 

But according to many, Reels is Facebook's attempt to combat its rival TikTok. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has called Reels a "copycat product."

"Facebook is even launching another copycat product, Reels (tied to Instagram), after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly," Mayer wrote in a blog post.

This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of copying features from its rivals. The company released Snapchat-like  (SNAP) - Get Free Report features, including short visual stories, lens filters and disappearing messages, a few years ago.

It's likely Facebook sees Reels as an opportunity to capitalize on TikTok's market share, especially as U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to ban the app which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. Trump also has given Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Free Report a deadline of up until September 15 to acquire the app.

On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed that it's continuing its discussions on a potential purchase of the app.

"Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States," Microsoft said.

On June 29, India banned TikTok along with 58 other Chinese apps, citing "national security concerns."

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