Adebayo Obajemu

Battle for control of social media space continues as report suggests Facebook has rolled out its own version of the video sharing product in the United States and more than 50 other countries on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

The social media platform called Reels is a feature within its popular Instagram app and it is embedded with a new short-form video service. Reels allows users to create 15-second clips, like TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends within the Instagram app.

The introduction of this new service, Reels, is coming at the time that TikTok is facing a lot of scrutiny in the United States and days after Tech giant, Microsoft said it was in talks to buy TikTok’s US operations  from China’s ByteDance.

ByteDance, under intense pressure from the US government, has acceded to divest parts of TikTok due to threats of being banned by the Trump administration.

Analysts are of the view that with the advent of Reels, the dispute between Facebook and TitTok may become messier, with each of them labelling the other as a threat. The 2 social media firms are eager to attract American teenagers, many of whom have been using TikTok for the past 2 years.

According to report, Reels was first tested in Brazil in 2018 before it was shipped to France, Germany and India. India was TikTok’s biggest market until the Indian government banned it last month due to a border dispute with the Chinese government. Facebook also tried out a standalone app called Lasso, but its acceptability was quite low.