Instagram announced Friday that it’s preparing to launch its own video-sharing feature, Reels, in the United States and 50 other countries, just one week after it began testing the platform in India.
The Reels announcement comes as TikTok finds itself in a newly weakened position, after India banned the video app TikTok and the Trump administration indicated he would do the same.
“We always look at what people want, and innovate every day to find new ways to improve experiences for people,” a Facebook spokesperson told. “Many platforms have come before us to create products that meet people where they are — Snap, TikTok, others — but we think we can do this in a way that’s unique to Instagram, and meets the demands of our community.”
Reels will let people record and edit 15-second videos set to music and audio, and upload them to their stories and Instagram’s Explore feature. An official launch date has not yet been announced.
Instagram and its parent company, Facebook (FB), have a history of mimicking other apps’ new features — and succeeding. In 2016, the company launched its Stories feature, which allows people to share content that disappears after 24 hours. Eight months later, the competitor to Snapchat (SNAP) surpassed Snapchat’s daily user count. By mid-2018, Stories was more than twice as popular as Snapchat.
Instagram is apparently not the only company looking to compete against TikTok. YouTube is developing its own TikTok rival, Shorts, to be released by the end of the year, according to The Information. And Snapchat, like TikTok, will soon let users explore public content with a vertical swiping gesture. Neither company immediately responded to a request for comment.
Still, TikTok welcomes the challenge.
“It’s great to see that tech companies appreciate the refreshing and creative experience TikTok brings people, which has been even more evident as families have been stuck at home in recent months,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNN. “We’ve always believed that open competition provides tremendous benefits to consumers.”