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Instagram's TikTok competitor could launch in the U.S. very soon

Reels might be Facebook's best shot at beating TikTok.
Karissa Bell, @karissabe
July 16, 2020
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TikTok and Instagram logos are seen displayed on a phone screens in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on November 14, 2019.  (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook could soon launch  its most serious bid to challenge TikTok. The company plans to launch Reels, the TikTok-like feature that lives inside of Instagram, globally in the coming weeks, according to NBC News

Instagram began testing the feature in Brazil last year, and has been refining the experience since. Now, NBC News reports that not only will Reels expand to users in the U.S, UK and about 50 other countries, but that it will add the feature directly to Instagram’s home screen. “Users will be able to access Reels through a new icon at the bottom of their screen in Instagram and post Reels to Instagram's main feed or Instagram Explore for public accounts,” NBC reports.

That Instagram would try to make Reels such a central part of its app underscores just how seriously it’s taking its challenge to TikTok. It’s also a strategy that has proved incredibly successful in the past. Facebook spent years attempting to copy Snapchat before it landed on its most successful tactic: simply cloning the feature inside of Instagram. If the company can emulate even some of that success with Reels, especially at a time when TikTok is under a tremendous amount of scrutiny over its ties to China, Facebook could, once again. come out ahead.

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