INTRO: Instagram has finally expanded its TikTok-like Reels feature globally. According to the company, Reels is now live in over 50 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia.
“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,” says the company in a blog post.
Instagram started testing Reels in Brazil last November. After being silent about expansion for over six months, the Facebook-owned company brought the feature to France and Germany. Soon after the Indian government banned TikTok among other Chinese apps, Instagram swiftly expanded the feature to India.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram’s expansion to the US comes at a time when no one knows what the future holds for TikTok in the country. The US government is forcing TikTok to either sell its US operations or face a ban.
For those unaware, it lets users create and share 15-second clips on Instagram. The feature has dedicated sections in Profile and Explore. You can find new Reels from the Explore section.
Reels offers neat functionalities including the ability to search and use a song from the Instagram music library, AR effects, countdown timers, the option to align previous clips and manipulate the speed of the audio or video.
It is worth noting that you can use Reels regardless of the privacy settings of your Instagram account. As you would expect, Instagram will not feature your private Reels in the public Explore section. If you’re using a private Instagram account, only your followers will see your clips. You also have the option to share a Reel just like a Story that disappears after 24 hours.