Instagram on Wednesday added a new short-form video feature to the image-centric platform in a direct challenge to TikTok, which is in the crosshairs of US President Donald Trump.
Known as Reels, the new feature allows users to share short, 15-second videos set to audio, such as music. The format mimics TikTok videos, although the video-sharing app allows for longer clips, leading many in the industry to label Reels as a direct challenger to TikTok which has surged in popularity in recent months.
Reels lets users record videos for editing, audio and effects, according to the Facebook-owned company.
“Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram,” the social media platform, based in California, said in a blog post.
TikTok is a social network that allows users to make video clips, lip sync to their favourite songs, create short videos, as well as view the clips and videos of others. There is also the option to live stream videos and directly interact with users via the online chat. The app also allows people to watch videos without ever creating an account.
Last month, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued a “final warning” to the video-sharing app TikTok. PTA has asked TikTok to put in place a comprehensive mechanism to control “obscenity, vulgarity and immorality through its social media platform”.