(Pocket-lint) - Facebook-owned Instagram launched Reels last year, bringing the trendy, short-form video format to the Instagram app. In other words, it's made a TikTok clone. Then, earlier this year, the Facebook app began testing Reels in India, Mexico, and Canada in a limited rollout.
Now, they're coming to Facebook in the US.
If you're one of the users who gets early access to Facebook Reels, you will be able to watch and create them in the Facebook mobile app. Facebook said its users spend nearly half of their time in the app watching videos, and that Reels are growing “especially quickly". So, now, Reels will show up for some users in the News Feed. They'll also be available in Groups - where users can watch them together. As part of this test, Instagram users can cross-post Reels to Facebook.
If you're one of the users who gets early access, you will be able to watch and create Reels in the Facebook mobile app, where you can add music or even use audio from another person’s video. Just tap the “Create” button from the Reels section that appears as you scroll the News Feed or while you’re watching Reels or by tapping on “Reels” at the top of your News Feed. You will then see creation tools, like music selection, record audio, camera roll import, and timed text.
TikTok offers similar video-creation capabilities and is known for popularising their use in short-form content. In fact, TikTok has had explosive success since last year, with a billion active users every month. We suspect Facebook wants to capture some of that audience.
Technically, it already tried to - with the Lasso app. But that failed. Perhaps, Reels on Facebook will do better.
Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 20 August 2021.