Instagram confirmed it’s preparing to soon launch its TikTok competitor, known as Reels, in the U.S. The company expects to bring the new video feature — which is designed specifically for short-form, creative content — to its platform in early August, according to a spokesperson. Reels was designed to directly challenge TikTok’s growing dominance. In a new area in the Instagram app, Reels allows users to create and post short, 15-second videos set to music or other audio, similar to TikTok. Also like TikTok, Reels offers a set of editing tools — like a countdown timer and tools to adjust the video’s speed, for example — that aim to make it easier to record creative content. Instagram, however, doesn’t have the same sort of two-tabbed, scrollable feed, like TikTok offers today. The move to more quickly roll out Reels to more markets comes as TikTok has come under intense scrutiny for its ties to China.
Since the news of a possible ban hit, other TikTok rivals got a boost in the charts, including Byte, Triller, Dubsmash, and Likee, for example. Snapchat also began testing TikTok-like navigation for its public video content, and YouTube is running a smaller test of its own.