TikTok has become big competition for Instagram.
Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video product, in the United States on Aug. 5, days after former President Donald Trump announced plans to ban Chinese-owned Tiktok in the country, sending panicked users scrambling to find alternatives.
Six months later, Reels isn’t taking off in the way the company had hoped.
TikTok has outlasted the Trump Administration and continues to be popular, with roughly 100 million users in the U.S., a significant impact on American pop culture, and a loyal mix of influencers who don’t seem to be going anywhere.
Unlike with stories at this point in its history, Instagram has not released any metrics about reels so far.
Facebook has come under scrutiny from regulators and critics for its aggressive approach to acquiring or cloning rivals to maintain its dominance in the social media market.
But Instagram’s early struggles to take on TikTok is a reminder that a number of Facebook’s copycat products have flopped or come up short.
Building a clone is easy; creating a vibrant community is not, even for the social media giant.
With Reels, Instagram has tried to replicate much of what makes TikTok popular, including editing effects and the ability to add music or a background sound. but what’s harder to emulate is TikTok’s powerful “for you page” and its algorithm, which serves up videos tailored to each user’s interests.
Instagram reels largely remains a home for TikToks’ greatest hits, with many people reposting popular Tiktok videos with the platform’s trademark watermark to reels.
It’s common to scroll through reels videos and see one TikTok video after another.