Facebook will soon launch “Instagram Reels,” a platform similar to the popular video app Tik Tok, in the United States. The launch comes as Chinese-owned Tik Tok faces scrutiny over security concerns.
Instagram Reels will allow users to create and post 15-second videos using a variety of music, similar to Tik Tok, NBC reported. Videos can go viral in a “Featured Reels” section of the platform, another feature like Tik Tok. Once Reels launches, users will see a “Reels” icon on the bottom of their Instagram pages and can access the platform from there. Reels can be posted to the main Instagram feed or to the explore page, according to NBC.
EXCLU: Mark Zuckerberg will launch Instagram Reels, Facebook’s answer to TikTok, in the United States and more than 50 other countries in a matter of weeks, sources familiar with the matter tell us. The global launch comes as TikTok is facing scrutiny from Washington. https://t.co/6UHYlnRsVZ
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) July 16, 2020
The launch of Tik Tok’s new competitor had reportedly been a year-long process. It first launched in November in Brazil and is now available in France, Germany, and most recently, India – right after the country banned more than 50 Chinese-owned apps, including Tik Tok, over security concerns, NBC reported. (RELATED: TikTok Hires Former GOP And Democratic Congressional Staffers To Lobby On US Policy Ahead Of The Election)
Reels will launch in the United States and more than 50 other countries within a few weeks, according to the report.
The Trump administration recently announced that they were seriously considering banning Tik Tok over national security concerns. Politicians and national security experts have repeatedly warned against potential security threats from the Chinese-owned app.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said during a March hearing that “Tik Tok has admitted that it has sent user data to China,” which he said is “a major security risk for the American people.” He also noted that the U.S. Army prohibits the app from being on any of their devices.
An email sent to Amazon employees Friday told them to delete the video app off their devices due to “security risks.” The company later claimed the email was “sent in error” and said that there is “no change” to Amazon‘s policies regarding Tik Tok.