Instead of operating as a separate app, Reels can be found within the Instagram app itself by selecting “Reels” at the bottom of the Instagram camera. Reels allows users to create 15-second clips, like TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends within the Instagram app.
The editing software operates much like TikTok. Users can overlay audio, select augmented reality effects and upload video clips in a similar manner.
Reels was launched in Brazil last November and Instagram expanded it to France and Germany in June and India in July. It’s now available in the U.S. and several other markets.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a poor track record cloning popular social media apps. It recently shut down its Lasso app, which its first attempt to copy TikTok with a stand-alone app. Facebook also recently shut down Hobbi, an app designed to compete with Pinterest. The company has had much better success adding popular features from rivals into Instagram and the regular Facebook app, like when it added the “Stories” feature based on Snapchat.
“Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage,” the company said in a blog post.