Instagram replaces Explore with Reels in India

TikTok has been banned in the country since June.

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Karissa Bell
September 3rd, 2020
This illustration picture shows Instagram's new video feature ''Reels'' on a smartphone on August 7, 2020 in Tehatta, Nadia, West Bengal, India. (Photo Illustration by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is making its newest TikTok rival even more prominent in India. Instagram’s app in India now has a dedicated tab for Reels, according to Instagram head Adam Mosseri. 

With the change, the Reels section appears where “Explore” used to be, and the Explore section has moved to the top right corner of the app next to the inbox. An Instagram spokesperson told Engadget the change is also being tested in Germany, France and Brazil.  

The update is due to “momentum we're seeing in the country,” Mosseri said of the feature. TikTok has been banned in India since June when the government cracked down on the video app, along with WeChat and other services from Chinese companies. Prior to the ban, TikTok had more than 200 million users in the country. Instagram launched Reels just days after the ban was announced. 

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