Instagram Reels heading to India now that TikTok is banned in the country

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Last week India banned 59 Chinese apps from use in the country, with its government citing security concerns. Of the 59 TikTok was seen as the most high-profile, given that its developer ByteDance lists India as its biggest user base. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a rival app in the form of Instagram Reels is looking to take advantage of the situation.

This according to Business Insider, which says the Instagram users in India have begun receiving updates that would allow them to make use of the Reels feature. For those unfamiliar, Instagram Reels allows you to record, edit and share 15-second long videos with others on the platform, so the comparisons to TikTok is clear.

The move to make it available in India makes a lot of sense, especially given the popularity of TikTok in the country, and a clear void that content creators need filled.

It also looks like India is just the start for Instagram Reels, with plans in place to launch it in other regions too.

“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries,” explained a Facebook (which owns Instagram) spokesperson to Business Insider.

“Reels is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained. We’re excited to bring this new version to more of our global community. No further plans to share on launch date or countries for now,” they added.

With TikTok already proving wildly successful here in South Africa, with the same going for the standard version of Instagram, there is potentially a desire to roll the Reels feature out to this part of the globe too.

To date the release of the short-format video feature has been relatively small, with Brazil being the first last year, and then it expanding to France and Germany last month.

If it gets a foothold in India, a far wider release would certainly be on the cards.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.