This Wednesday, Facebook launched its own version of TikTok in the United States and in more than 50 countries. The new short format video service is called Reels and can be used via the social network Instagram.
This launch comes days after Microsoft announced negotiations to acquire TikTok's US operations from ByteDance of China. It is recalled that the White House threatened to ban Tik Tok and other Chinese-owned applications for data security reasons.
The Reels were tested in Brazil in 2018 and then in France, Germany and India, which was the largest TikTok market until the Indian government banned it last month after a clash on the border with China.
As with TikTok, Reels users can record short videos for mobile phones and add special effects and soundtracks extracted from a music library.
These similarities have led TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer to call Reels an “imitation product”.
Vishal Shah, vice president of products for Instagram, acknowledged the similarities in a videoconference on Tuesday with reporters and said that “inspiration for products comes from everywhere”, including Facebook teams and “the ecosystem more broadly ”.