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Instagram has officially launched its TikTok clone, Reels, in over 50 countries

Instagram is starting to get a bit crowded with features.

instagram reels on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

As the US continues looking into possibly banning TikTok, the uber-popular social platform, the Facebook-owned Instagram is now rolling out its copycat similar feature, Reels, to users around the world.

In addition to the US, Reels is also launching in Japan, Germany, France, India, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and more. The new section, at present, lives in the Explore section of Instagram and allows you to experience videos in a very similar fashion to what is already found on TikTok.

With music being such a driving factor behind apps like TikTok, Instagram is throwing its money around by securing a vast array of music through record label deals. While TikTok is full of music, quite a bit of it is there without any actual rights to share the music. Securing these deals should help keep Instagram from having to mute the audio of as many videos (or remove the video entirely), something that TikTokers have to deal with when sharing videos with user-uploaded music that they don’t have the rights to share.

Reels can live in a variety of places on Instagram. You can post them to your feed, share them directly with friends, and even push them into your Stories, where they will disappear after a set amount of time. Just like TikTok, you’ll be able to edit, merge clips, add music, and more before pushing the video live.

Unlike TikTok, which allows for 60-second videos, Reels is capping videos at 15-seconds. I’m a bit surprised by this, as TikTok has shown that minute-long clips are popular, but at this time, 15 seconds is all you’ll get on Reels.

Reels joins Instagram Live and IGTV as additional ways to consume content on the platform. While options are always nice, I can’t help but think that things are started to get a little cluttered on the photosharing app.

As for personal impressions of Reels, it’s…alright. I’m still having issues viewing the Reels feed without errors, and videos that are being pushed into my feed have a distinctive “Instagram” feel to them in the fact they feel more polished, but somehow less authentic. Which is probably a commentary on something, but it’s too early for me to spiral down that rabbit hole.

What do you think? Do you plan on using Instagram Reels? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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