A chance for Instagram to turn this content format gimmick into a successful social product

Two phones side by side. One shows Instagram Reels’ characters; the other shows TikTok’s. Caption: Instagram Reels vs TikTok
Two phones side by side. One shows Instagram Reels’ characters; the other shows TikTok’s. Caption: Instagram Reels vs TikTok

Last month, Instagram rolled out an aggressive redesign placing Reels front-and-center on its new navigation bar. So far, the feature has been poorly received by critics and TikTok users, who claim it to be a blatant knock-off of the popular short-form video app.

Based on user reviews and general sentiment, it seems that Reels has yet to insert itself into most users’ daily activity on the platform. We witnessed a similar lack of enthusiasm back in 2018 when Instagram introduced its YouTube competitor, IGTV. According to TechCrunch, a mere 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded the standalone…


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Last month, Instagram rolled out an aggressive redesign placing Reels front-and-center on its new navigation bar. So far, the feature has been poorly received by critics and TikTok users, who claim it to be a blatant knock-off of the popular short-form video app.

Based on user reviews and general sentiment, it seems that Reels has yet to insert itself into most users’ daily activity on the platform. We witnessed a similar lack of enthusiasm back in 2018 when Instagram introduced its Youtube competitor, IGTV. According to TechCrunch, a mere 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded the standalone…

Stephanie Jin

Creative strategist and meme lord-in-training | Passionate about consumer social & e-commerce & Chinese tech ✌️

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