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Instagram Reels’ biggest problem is replicating what TikTok does best

The Verge Wednesday, 12 August 2020
Instagram Reels’ biggest problem is replicating what TikTok does bestIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

It’s easy to forget about Instagram Reels.

Instagram’s TikTok competitor rolled out last week, bringing with it a newly revamped Explore tab that attempts to replicate TikTok’s video feed. Alongside a new camera layout designed to make creating easier (spoiler alert: it only made things more complicated), Instagram’s goal was obvious: make Reels a new go-to experience on the app, much like it made Stories blow up in 2016.

But a week after its launch, Reels feels tacked on. It’s impossible not to notice the flood of reuploaded videos from TikTok, with TikTok watermarks still dotting the upper left-hand corner of reel after reel. The authentic reels mostly seem to come from featured Instagram creators, and they’re often based on popular...
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