Are we even still surprised at this point? Facebook/Instagram are absolute pros at stealing features from other apps and capitalising on them. Remember Stories? Yeah. It’s doing that again with a feature that is pretty much identical to TikTok’s short video format.
We’re in no way saying that TikTok invented the short-format video. It’s been done a million times, with platforms like Vine and Mixer bringing it into the mainstream. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time? As human concentration decreases, video length also decreases. Is there a correlation? Absolutely. Is it scientific? Nah.
Plagiarising the world of apps
Instagram Reels launched in India a mere few days after TikTok was banned in the country. Clearly, Facebook doesn’t mind making the bold moves. We all know exactly why it launched Reels in India, one of the more popular markets for TikTok before the ban, but Facebook doesn’t care, obviously. Now it looks like Reels is coming to the rest of the world. Convenient, since TikTok has been slammed for security practices worldwide, with many countries planning to ban the app…
“Reels lets users create 15-second clips overlaid with tunes from a large catalogue of music,” TNW details the app’s new feature. We don’t need to go into any more detail on the use and functions of the app. Just imagine a rebranded TikTok — and videos are published in the Insta Stories tab. Facebook trialled the feature in Brazil, Germany and France before rolling out in India. Next up — World Domination™.
This isn’t the first time Facebook tried launching a TikTok rival. Zuckerberg recently shut down an app called Lasso that you’ve probably never heard of. Lasso was basically a carbon copy of TikTok, but clearly it wasn’t worth pushing the platform by itself — it needed to integrate it with Instagram.
Why does Facebook keep stealing ideas and getting away with it? Well, because they have the economic backing to get away with it. Why is no-one saying that Facebook/Instagram may be just as insecure as TikTok?