Bermuda Post

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020

Facebook challenges TikTok with 'Reels' – a new Instagram feature

Facebook challenges TikTok with 'Reels' – a new Instagram feature

Instagram Reels allow users to record videos of up to 15 seconds and provide tools to edit them and add audio and effects to them, Facebook explained in a blog post.
The Instagram network added a new feature to create and share short videos on Wednesday, a direct challenge from its owner, Facebook, to the Chinese application TikTok, which has been in the crosshairs of US President Donald Trump for days.

Instagram Reels allow users to record videos of up to 15 seconds and provide tools to edit them and add audio and effects to them, Facebook explained in a blog post.

Reels invites you to create funny videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram, said the social media platform, based in California, United States.

Days ago Trump threatened to ban the successful Chinese application TikTok in the United States for national security reasons, and gave them until mid-September to reach a sale agreement to the local technology giant Microsoft or another interested party.

Trump on Tuesday defended his demand that the U.S. government receive a percentage of TikTok's purchase price, after his lawsuit was deemed unconstitutional and akin to extortion.

Reels will allow Instagram to compete in the universe of funny or playful short videos, the format that made TikTok a phenomenon of social networks.

Reels are an important part of the future of entertainment on Instagram. Our community is telling us that they want to make and watch short, edited videos, Facebook stressed.

The new feature is available in more than 50 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.

This follows Facebook's trend of copying features that are successful in rival apps.

How the social media giant wields its power in the market came under scrutiny last week, when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the heads of big tech Apple, Google and Amazon were questioned by a congressional antitrust committee.

Simply put, they have too much power, Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the committee that has been investigating the business practices of those four companies, said at the hearing.

This power prevents new forms of competition, creativity and innovation, he added.

On the other hand, any deal that allows Microsoft to buy TikTok could be key for the American tech giant to focus more on the end user.

Buying the Chinese network could turn Microsoft into a more modern and youth-focused company after years of targeting business services and cloud computing, analysts estimate.

However, Microsoft has had its challenges in the past to buy existing consumer brands, such as Skype and Nokia, and turn them into success stories.
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