There have been 2 recent developments involving the app that have many TikTok influencers alerting fans to follow them on other platforms.
For one, Instagram just upped the game by introducing its newest feature: Instagram Reels. Soft launched at the end of June in select markets, this beta-feature allows users to make a 15-second video clip set to music or original audio. Additionally, there is a countdown timer and a speed-adjusting option. If you are having some deja-vu right now, you aren’t alone. Instagram Reels is almost exactly like TikTok!
Do you still use Snapchat? Yeah, neither do I.
While TikTok has been the viral video-making choice of most Millennials and Gen Z-ers, this new Insta feature is aiming to sweep the feet out from under the newer company. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has never been one to miss out on a slice of the internet pie. Remember, IG Story was a direct response to Snapchat, and look what happened there.
While their first attempt to compete with TikTok was an app called Lasso that never quite took off. By adding the Reels feature to the already insanely popular/addictive Instagram app, the chances of actually competing with TikTok are now higher.
So, tell me more about Reels.
At first glance, Reel’s beauty filters, timers and video speed options seem like a basic copy of TikTok. However, there are a few differences, since this is Instagram after all. Insta users will be able to film their Reel video and share via Instagram Story or permanently save them in a dedicated space on your profile a la IGTV. There will also be a new Reels section on your Explore page for public accounts to share, adding to the viral factor that has influencers and brands alike flocking to TikTok.
That’s fake news! Last week, the Trump administration came out and said that it’s considering banning the Chinese-owned app due to security threats. This announcement was made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Fox News on the heels of India banning the app in its country. Australia is also thinking about doing this as well. This announcement had U.S. Tiktok influencers turning up on their channels, urging fans to follow them on Instagram or subscribing to their email list.
Social Media Tip: Don’t rely on one platform to build your brand – especially when you can’t control the fate of that platform (cough TikTok cough). Building an email list or blog following ensures that you can talk directly to your audience whenever you want.
Will TikTok be another app of our past?
With new competition from a huge platform like Insta plus national governments stepping in, could TikTok fade into Internet nostalgia? While Instagram has yet to announce a release date for Reels and Trump has yet to make good on his threat, the social media community is already asking: What kind of staying power does the app have? Only time will tell.
Note: At publication time, Reels has only been released in a select number of countries including India, Brazil and France.
UPDATE: On August 6, Instagram Reels became available letting users share short videos within the app. Additionally, Microsoft is considering buying Chinese-owned TikTok in certain countries like the US. Trump has okayed this alternative solution but still holds on to his threats to ban the app in mid-September if nothing changes.