Facebook-owned Instagram had started testing Reels — a feature allowing users to create a short-form of up to 15 seconds, in select markets last year. Now, the company has announced that it is rolling out the feature to a broad user base in India.
This development comes just days after the Indian government banned TikTok along with 58 other Chinese applications. This has created a new market opportunity for short-form video social media platform in India to fill the void of TikTok.
Reels videos will appear on Instagram’s Explore tab. Users can also share Reels as “Stories”. But if the user shares it through “Stories”, the video will not appear in Explore tab and will disappear after 24 hours.
Prior to making the Reels feature available in the Indian market, Instagram was testing this feature and has rolled out the same in Brazil, France, and Germany. It seems that the Reels is best poised to take on the users of TikTok instead of other India-based companies, thanks influencers on the platform.
Instagram has more than 165 million monthly active users in India, as per the data from App Annie, but the company has not revealed official numbers.
On the other hand, before the ban, India was the biggest market for TikTok outside of its home country China. Last year, TikTok said that it had over 200 million users in the country, and the firm was looking to expand that figure to at least 300 million this year.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has said that the company “is committed to working with the government to demonstrate our dedication to user security and our commitment to the country overall.”