ByteDance owned TikTok was banned in India following the Galwan Valley clash which killed around 20 Indian soldiers at the LAC. The move came in as a response to China’s expansionist approach towards their neighbours and their escalating army intrusion in Ladakh region of India. The government of India banned TikTok along with 56 other applications including Xender, ShareIt, UC Browser, etc. Though this move has been hailed by many including the popular personalities of India, the influencers who had several millions of followers on TikTok were left disheartened. Many are feared to lose livelihood who relied heavily on TikTok for earning money.
To fill the void created by TikTok ban and to make the most out of this situation, social media giant Facebook owned Instagram is planning to launch Instagram Reels in India. The US-based company has said on Wednesday that they are rolling out Reels in India to provide a TikTok like platform for the influencers in India. Reels is already running successfully in other countries and it is being widely referred as TikTok clone since last year.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels, just like TikTok helps users create short videos up to 15 seconds set to music or any audio. They can share the videos on the platform and get views depending upon their popularity of the users. Since Instagram noticed that more than 33% of content shared on social media are made up of videos and around 45% of videos posted on Instagram are 15 seconds long or shorter, the social media platform decided to introduce a TikTok like feature on their mobile as well as web version.
Currently, Instagram Reels is being tested in Brazil, France, and Germany. It was bound to come in India, citing the love Indian citizens have for video content. Though the timing of introduction of Instagram Reels in India coincide with the TikTok ban, the head of Facebook India Ajit Mohan cleared that the launch has nothing to do with the current blanket ban.
After TikTok ban, many other platforms have come up to fill the void created by the Chinese app. Twitter-backed Sharechat, Chingari, Mitro, Roposo, etc have also stepped into the market to court 100 millions of users who were earlier benefitting from TikTok. Sharechat even received more than 25 million Indian users in just a matter of days.
Times Internet owned music service app Gaana has also launched a similar service called HotShots on Tuesday to let users create and share short videos online. However, among all these newly-launched brands, Instagram Reels stands a greater chance of becoming as famous as TikTok if not more.
Instagram had about 165 million of active monthly users last and it was 110 million up from the users in June last year. Currently, Instagram already has several Indian influencers including Ammy Virk, Gippy Grewal, Komal Pandey, Mahathalli, Ankush Bahuguna, etc. The Instagram Reels videos will feature under the Explore tab in the application. It will also have a feature to be shared as an Instagram story. Just like TikTok, influencers on Instagram can earn thousands of dollars through advertisers and paid partnerships with brands.
However, there are some limitations as well. Instagram Reels will definitely have decent payouts for the famous influencers, but wouldn’t be of much use fiscally for the other creators.