Instagram starts testing TikTok competitor feature Reels in India

Reels, which comes to India after being tested in Brazil, Germany and France, offers a new way to create and share short videos on Instagram
Facebook-owned Instagram said on Wednesday it would begin testing in India its Reels feature as it seeks to replace TikTok, the wildly popular short video service the government banned more than a week ago along with 58 other Chinese apps.

Reels, which comes to India after being tested in Brazil, Germany and France, offers a new way to create and share short videos on Instagram. Users can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and new creative tools on Reels. They can share the videos with their followers on their Instagram Feed and if they have a public account, make their 'reels' available to the wider Instagram community through the platform's Explore feature.

Reels will start rolling out to users in India from 7:30 pm on Wednesday and will have content from a diverse set of public figures and creators, such as Ammy Virk, Gippy Grewal, Komal Pandey, Arjun Kanungo, Jahnavi Dasetty aka Mahathalli, Indrani Biswas aka Wondermunna, Kusha Kapila, Radhika Bangia, RJ Abhinav and Ankush Bhaguna

“With the rise in video consumption overall and videos making up over a third of posts on Instagram in India, Instagram has a big role to play in unleashing expression in the country. People across the big and small cities of India come to Instagram to express themselves safely, and also to be entertained,” said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook India.

"With Reels, we’re unveiling the future of entertainment on the platform, in a way that ignites creativity. With the multiple creative formats, whichever way you want to express yourself, it can now be on Instagram,” said Mohan. 

Reels builds on a music library available on Instagram, thanks to the platform's partnership with prominent music labels such as T-Series, Zee Music and Yash Raj Films. 

"Instagram has always been a place where culture is created, because people come to share the things they care about and be entertained. We’re excited to expand the test of Reels to India and give the next generation of creators born and bred in India a chance to share their native and cultural context -- and be potential global stars," said Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product, Facebook.

How to create a Reel:

Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera, where a variety of creative editing tools are available:

  • Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library for your reel. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it.
  •  AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our AR library, created by both Instagram, and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.
  •  Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free.
  • Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next, which helps for seamless transitions like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.
  • Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected, which helps you stay on a beat or make slow motion videos.
How to share a reel:

Reels can be shared with your followers and reach the wider Instagram community through the Explore feature. 

If you have a Public Account: You can share your reel to a dedicated space in Explore, where it has the chance to be seen and discovered by the wider Instagram community. You can also share to Feed so your followers can see your reel. When you share reels featuring certain songs, hashtags or effects, your reel may also appear on dedicated pages whenever someone clicks on that song, hashtag or effect.

If you have a Private Account: You can share to Feed so your followers can see your reel. You can also share to Stories or in Direct, though your reel would then disappear after 24 hours.

To watch Reels:

Reels in Explore is a new space to enjoy reels created by the diverse community on Instagram. Discover your new favorite comedian, inspiring advocate, trending dance or beauty trend in a vertical feed customized for you. If you enjoy a reel, you can easily like, comment or share it with your friends.

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