INSTAGRAM is about to launch its own TikTok rival around the globe.
The new feature is called Reels – and lets users post short video clips with music in the background.
Reels actually launched in Brazil last year, but it’s now going global, according to NBC.
It comes as the US considers banning TikTok over national security fears about the China-made app.
Reels is an Instagram feature that lets users record short 15-second videos set to audio.
They can then be shared on the platform with the idea that they may go viral.
This is similar to TikTok as it gives users easy ways to make creative videos.
The plan is for Reels to be shared on Instagram Stories as well as more permanently on feeds.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, has previously tried to jump on the TikTok trend with a video app called Lasso.
However, this doesn’t appear to have been very popular.
Adding a feature like Reels to Instagram is a good way to attract the over one billion people who already use the app for photo posting.
The Reels feature is expected to launch next month, so keep checking your app for updates.
As this isn’t a beta test, you’ll be able to access Reels just by updating the normal app.
This isn’t the first time that Instagram has appeared to copy a feature from a different app.
Snapchat fans accused the photo sharing app of taking the Stories concept from Snap.
Instagram’s timing couldn’t be better: Donald Trump’s administration is studying the national security risks of social media apps including TikTok.
Action against the app, which has been accused of sharing user data with the Chinese government, is expected soon, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters en route to Washington from Georgia.
US officials have previously suggested banning the app to protect national interests.
“There are a number of … administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure,” Meadows said.
The investigation “relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary,” he added.
“I don’t know that there’s any self-imposed deadline in terms of action, but I would say that we’re looking at weeks, not months.”
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing company ByteDance, is one of the world’s most popular apps, boasting 1.5billion downloads.
Experts and policy-makers around the globe have expressed concerns that the app is harvesting user data that could be handed to Chinese officials.
TikTok defended its security practices in a statement, saying: “We are fully committed to protecting our users’ privacy and security.
“TikTok has an American CEO, a Chief Information Security Officer with decades of U.S. military and law enforcement experience, and a growing U.S. team that works diligently to develop a best-in-class security infrastructure,” the statement said.
“TikTok U.S. user data is stored in Virginia and Singapore, with strict controls on employee access. These are the facts.”
In other news, WhatsApp users are being warned about modified versions of the app that could leave them vulnerable to hackers.
Fortnite mega-star Ninja has ditched TikTok over issues with the way the controversial app handles user data.
And, Tinder has started testing a new ‘virtual dating’ feature that will let you video chat with your potential lover.
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