Yesterday, Instagram announced that it is testing its new short video-sharing feature, Reels, in India. Instagram said that it was collaborating with several established Indian creators from popular platforms such as TikTok and YouTube to populate content on Reels. India is the 4th country after Brazil, France, and Germany, where Reels is currently being tested. The feature rolled out for users in India starting yesterday and users now will be able to check out entertaining videos posted by creators such as Radhika Bangia, Jahnavi Dasetty aka Mahathalli, Indrani Biswas aka Wondermunna, Ammy Virk and more. This new feature comes nearly a week after the Indian government imposed a TikTok ban.
The Reels feature is integrated within the Instagram app itself. To create Instagram Reels, a user would need to open the camera option in the app. After clicking on Reels from the bottom of the screen, the app throws up several easy-to-use tools to record and edit a 15-second video.
Creators can choose to use the in-app music tracks, or even use custom audio for their videos. There are also options to speed up or slow down parts of the video. There’s an Align option that helps creators maintain their position in front of the camera while recording multiple cuts in a single video. It also has an array of augmented reality effects that can be used to make videos more fun.
According to Facebook India Vice President and MD Ajit Mohan, videos make up a third of all Instagram posts in India. Out of that, around 45% of the videos posted are of 15 seconds or less.
Calling Reels as the “future of entertainment,” Facebook’s Vice President of Product Vishal Shah said that the superior goal of Reels was to push Indian content creators and help them become potential “global stars.”
While still in the testing phase, Instagram Reels is expected to become a solid competitor to Indian TikTok rivals such as Chingari, Mitron, Moj, and Roposo. Several TikTok creators have already moved to Instagram, asking their followers to catch up with their latest content on the app.
As of now, Instagram plans to learn more from the testing phase and from creators themselves. Monetization options are also expected to be introduced once Reels takes off in India. No official public rollout date has been announced yet.