Has Facebook got any original ideas?
FACEBOOK- owned image sharing social media platform Instagram has announced a new feature that has been more or less ripped off from its surging Chinese rival TikTok.
The new Instagram Reels feature – which will roll out in Brazil before an expected global rollout – is part of the platform’s Stories mode.
In Reels, you can create 15second videos set to music, or you can take the audio from someone else’s video to create your own version or twist it in a new direction.
Fans of irony may note the similarities. This philosophy of “borrowing” from another user’s video to create one of your own is central to the TikTok platform Facebook has taken the idea from and helps turn jokes into memes that go viral as more and more users put their own spin on the content.
This copy-paste sharing and the impact of its virality has previously demonstrated the potential power of TikTok in the future.
US musician Lil Nas X spent a record-breaking 19 weeks at the top of the charts after his hit song Old Town
Road went viral through TikTok users.
It’s not even the first time Facebook has copied TikTok – last year it launched Lasso, a stand-alone app still limited to the US, where it hasn’t really caught on.
Now Instagram will give users the option to create similar content without even leaving the app.
Adding Reels to Instagram makes it more likely it can build a user base since you won’t have to download a new app or make a new account and can start posting clips to the Instagram story you already have.
The “permanent feed” that’s existed on Instagram since the start will continue offering the curated and aspirational “highlight reel” to show off your most important content that best showcases your personal brand, while the Stories section (a feature copied from rival Snapchat in 2016) will continue using its expiring vignettes to share more mundane or silly parts of your everyday life.
Instagram director of product management Robby Stein told TechCrunch that TikTok “deserve a ton of credit” for popularising the format it will now use for Reels, mirroring previous comments from one of Instagram’s founders regarding Snapchat.
“Your friends are already all on Instagram. I think that’s only true of Instagram,” Mr Stein said.
Facebook’s power becoming entrenched through its main product (being us) makes sense even if it is a strange thing to hear a senior figure in the company admit.
‘BORROWED’ FEATURE: Facebook has introduced another new feature that it copied from a rival.