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Instagram Reels feature predicted to overrun TikTok following TikTok’s potential ban

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“Laughter is the best medicine” is a common mantra amidst the bone tickling community. You hear the saying in stand-up comedy events, during interviews of comedians and even in hospital consultation rooms when doctors attempt to salvage their dignity after administering a rather poor joke. Billions of people globally whip out their phones and head to social media platforms after a tiresome day so as to whither away their frustrations like night shade in the desert. One of the most visited platforms in social media, used for the sole purposes of unwinding and creativity, is TikTok.

In this day and age, creators have varied platforms where they can explore their talents and share their content. Artists of varied fields around the world get to earn a substantial amount of income by exhibiting their works virtually. TikTok’s latest marketing venture as of last month involves paying their top video creators. The platform has set up a $200 million fund so as to reward these talents and is hoping to increase the fund to a whopping $1 billion.

Although this particular marketing strategy is quite brilliant, TikTok may be bidding sayonara to its many users. This is due to the potential ban in USA which could be imposed by Donald Trump. If this does not pan out, TikTok still faces a threat of a possible acquisition by Microsoft. Sure this acquisition may be partial but this move will still heavily impact TikTok as an independent platform.

With TikTok’s future appearing as flaky, creators worldwide heaved a sigh of relief when Instagram launched its new feature, Reels.

On Wednesday this week, Reels made its debut in more than 50 countries globally in both iOS and Android.

How does Reels work and what are its perks?

Reels is the newest feature by Instagram and it is geared towards ensnaring new users, increasing the time users spend on Instagram and establishing Instagram as a video entertainment platform.

This new snazzy feature allows its users to make short-form videos backed up by music. These videos can then be shared with friends and followers of the users. The friends and followers can also stumble upon these videos when browsing the app seeking entertainment.

Users can use Reels to record a video that lasts up to 15 seconds. The video can be done all at once or as a series of clips or it can be uploaded from the photo gallery. Apart from being able to tailor the short video with popular music, Reels offers a plethora of filters and effects that make your videos pop (speed, timer etc.). All you have to do is head to the Reels feature and slide to the camera with an array of tools.

For users who wish to amass new followers through Reels, Instagram has got you covered. This platform has created a spot for Reels at the top of the screen in their Explore Page. This way, Instagram users can vertically scroll through Reel posts while browsing the Explore Page and creators of brilliant videos can go viral! The possibility of going viral is high with Instagram’s Explore Page having more than 50% of people incessantly visiting and using the Explore Page every month. This new hub that will be purely dedicated to Reels will most definitely increase the capacity of your followers.

For users who wish to share their content with friends only, Reels has a public and private option. Reels created under private accounts will only be posted on a person’s Feed and Stories. If your wish is to become the next Naziad Nasenya on the other hand, then the public option will ensure that more people view your content.

You have to admit, this new feature is quite sensational!

Differences between TikTok and Reels

When Instagram Reels was being launched, many people shared their views on how similar it was to TikTok. Like TikTok, Reels has the ability to record short-form videos tailored by popular music. Users of Reels can use the varied assortment of tools provided by the feature to make their videos more alluring just like TikTok. Similar to TikTok’s “For You Page”.

Reels also has a hub where users get to amass a colossal of followers and possibly go viral. So yes, in a way, Reels is basically TikTok on Instagram.

Robby Stein, however, claims that although TikTok and Reels share similarities, the two do have their disparities. Stein is the product director of Instagram.

For instance, Stein points out that Reels will not be able to allow its users to do “duets”. This particular feature is a TikTok core. It allows users to interact and also do a remix of various videos.

He also said that unlike TikTok, Instagram will not be able to allow its users to upload their songs directly into the app’s system. Stein emphasizes that for musicians who want to use Reels as a debut platform for their songs (so that their songs can go viral) can still do so, by adding a recording of their original audio which can live on later in the system.

People will therefore have a chance to use this recorded version and also remix it.

It is also important to remember that Reels is a part of Instagram, it is not a separate entity like TikTok.

Remember how TikTok can pay its users for creating viral videos? Instagram does not directly pay its top video creators but it does allow its creators to earn income through brand deals and sponsored posts.

This new Instagram product might lack some of TikTok’s beneficial core features but it still has the potential of stealing the rug from under TikTok with its massive build of networks.

Robby Stein said in an interview that; “We’re going big with entertainment and (making Explore) the permanent place for you to go lean back, relax and be inspired every day. It’s our hope that with this format we have a new chapter of entertainment on Instagram.”

Reels has not been launched in Kenya yet, we are, however, looking forward to it.

What do you think? Is Reels a threat to TikTok? Apart from Donald Trump and Microsoft that is.

Say, how do you reckon people pull off cross-eyed basketball dribbling?


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