Instagram is copying some of TikTok’s key features by letting users record a 15-second video clip with musicInstagram is borrowing features from social media upstart TikTok Users in Brazil can nose use ‘Reels’ to post video clips backed by musicThe posts can be uploaded to one’s stories and shared in direct messagesA broader equivalent with more tools called ‘Scenes’ may also be on the way 

Instagram will continue its tradition of borrowing the best features from other social platforms in a new test mimicking Chinese upstart, TikTok.

According to a report from Techcrunch, Instagram is now testing a ‘video remix feature’ that allows users to take a 15-second video accompanied by music and then post that clip to their story.

The feature, called Reels, is rolling out on Tuesday as a test for Instagram users in Brazil and parrots a posting format that helped popularize TikTok which now rivals mainstays like Instagram and Snapchat in its ability to court younger users.

The feature is only available in Brazil but a different version of the tool may be on its way for users across the globe

Instagram’s Reels feature will mimic Chinese social media upstart TikTok by allowing users to post video clips with music edited in

One posted, the Reels can then be viewed inside Instagram’s Explore page under ‘Top Reels.’

If one doesn’t feel like sharing their Reel publicly they can also send them via the platform’s direct messaging feature – a key difference between Instagram’s duplicate and TikTok’s original feature.

While it’s unclear if Reels will make its way to other countries, the platform has reportedly been working on a similar feature that may soon be available to users across the globe.

Called Scenes, the feature imbues Instagram with some basic video-editing tools and lets users mix music into video and post to their stories in addition to letting them use augmented reality effects and adjusting playback speed.

Instagram is working on Scenes, a TikTok-like video editing/remixing tool for Stories

Other users will be able to remix your “Scenes” if your account is public

You are given music, video speed, timer, AR Effect, etc to edit each clip

This feature is previously known as Clips

— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) November 12, 2019

The new feature was discovered by researcher Jane Manchun Wong who has a knack for finding tests inside major apps through reverse-engineering. 

Social media companies aren’t the only ones keeping an eye on TikTok.

In recent months, US lawmakers have called on the intelligence community to assess the app’s impact on national security, scrutinizing TikTok’s ties with the Chinese government.  


TikTok is a Chinese social media app where users can live stream, create short videos and music videos and Gifs with a host of functions.

TikTok’s tagline is ‘Make every second count’.

It was the most downloaded app in the US in 2018 and the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018, ahead of Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok is known in China as Douyin where it was launched in 2016 and then made more widely available around the world in 2017.

Douyin is still the version of the app used in China, available to download separately to TikTok.

Last year, the app was merged with popular music video lip-syncing app, also with headquarters in China.

Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.

It offers users a raft if colourful modification and editing tools including overlaying music, sound, animated stickers, filters and augmented reality (AR) for creating short videos.

The Beijing based social network has more than 500 million active users and the company is now worth more than $75 billion (£58 billion).


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