Instagram launched Reels, a new video-editing tool with features similar to TikTok, in Brazil this week. Facebook has used Instagram as a tool to challenge Snapchat. The launch of Reels is seen as the social media giant’s answer to growing popularity of TikTok around the world. Probably to crack the TikTok model, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been spotted via a ‘secret account’ on TikTok. The Chinese short video-sharing app has become a headache for the social networking giant — from the US to India.
Facebook CEO has a secret TikTok account
The account is not yet verified but uses the handle “@finkd”, which is the same as Zuckerberg’s handle on Twitter, BuzzFeedNews reported on Wednesday. The account has a modest 4,055 followers without any post. It currently follows 61 celebrities like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, but mostly TikTok superstars like Loren Gray and Jacob Sartorius. The report said that in 2016, Zuckerberg invited Musical.ly co-founder Alex Zhu to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters in California but the talks did not materialize.
In 2017, Musical.ly was bought by Chinese tech giant ByteDance for around $800 million and merged with its existing short-form video app Douyin to form TikTok which has over 800 million users globally, including 200 million in India. To take on TikTok’s growing popularity, Facebook-owned Instagram has launched a new video-music remix feature called “Reels”. “Reels” will let users make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories.
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Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their ‘Reels’ with a huge catalog of music, or borrow the audio from anyone else’s video to create a remix of their meme or joke. Zuckerberg recently said that in India, TikTok has gone ahead of Instagram. He also mentioned that TikTok works much like Instagram’s Explore feature. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are facing strong competition from TikTok in India. TikTok owner now plans to invest $1 billion in India despite the calls to ban the app. In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called “Lasso” to compete with TikTok.
(Written with IANS inputs)