Instagram on July 8 said it will start testing a new format ‘Reels' in India that will allow users to create and share short videos.
This move by the Facebook-owned company comes within weeks of the Indian government banning 59 mobile apps with Chinese links, including the popular short video platform TikTok terming these apps as prejudicial to the sovereignty of the country. People can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools on Reels.
Ajit Mohan, Vice President, and Managing Director, Facebook India, said, “With the rise in video consumption overall and videos making up over a third of posts on Instagram in India, Instagram has a big role to play in unleashing expression in the country. People across the big and small cities of India come to Instagram to express themselves safely, and also to be entertained. With Reels, we’re unveiling the future of entertainment on the platform, in a way that ignites creativity. With the multiple creative formats, whichever way you want to express yourself, it can now be on Instagram.” “We’re constantly listening to our community, and have heard that they want to make and watch short-form videos on Instagram and have the opportunity to be discovered by our broader community. We’re excited to expand the test of Reels to India,” Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product, Facebook, said. Instagram is used by over a billion people globally across many surfaces — Feed, Stories, IGTV, and Live. With Reels, people can express themselves while entertaining others, whether that’s by trying out a fun new dance or spreading the message on something they care about. Users can select the Reels option available at the bottom of their Instagram camera. This feature offers a variety of tools to create short videos including an audio collection from the Instagram music library. Users can also use their own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. It also includes AR Effects and a timer and countdown for clips. Users can also line up objects from their previous clip before recording their next and adjust the speed of the videos to create content such as slow-motion. These videos can then be shared with their followers on Feed. Reels can also be made available to a wider audience through a new space in Explore for users with a public account. “Sharing to Reels in Explore gives people the opportunity to access a larger audience, especially since more than 50 percent of accounts on Instagram globally visit Explore every month,” Instagram said in an official release. Users can also share reels through their Instagram stories. Though reels that are shared in Stories will disappear after 24 hours and not appear on a user profile. India is the fourth country, after Brazil, Germany, and France, where this new format is being tested, Instagram said. This entertainment experience builds on the work done in the past year to enable expression, such as the vast library of music available on the platform thanks to a partnership with prominent music labels; the Spark AR effects on Instagram that enable more creation and expression on the platform; and the ‘Born on Instagram’ program, which has led to discovery and growth of creators from all across India.