Facebook Tries To Take TikTok's Place In India

Following the Indian government’s decision to ban TikTok, Facebook is introducing Instagram’s Reels feature to the country.

Similar to the standalone TikTok app, Reels enables the creation of short video clips.

“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries,” a Facebook spokesperson stated.

After creating their Reels, Instagram users can share them as a Story, on the Explore tab, or with individual friends using the platform’s direct message feature.

Business Insider India was first to report the expansion of Reels, over the weekend.



In addition to TikTok, India’s Ministry of Information Technology recently decided to ban 58 other apps of Chinese origin for threatening the “sovereignty and integrity” of the country. Tensions between the two countries are high following a deadly face-off along the Himalayan border, last month.

The ban dealt a major blow to TikTok parent ByteDance, which had counted India as one of its most valuable markets.

As of April, approximately 30% of TikTok’s more than 2 billion users resided in India, according estimates from Sensor Tower. 

Along with India, countries where citizens can now test Reels include Brazil, France, and Germany.

Facebook has yet to say if or when it plans to expand Reels’ reach to North America.

Citing underwhelming adoption, Facebook just announced plans to shelve another TikTok clone named Lasso.

TikTok’s rapid rise in popularity around the world has been remarkable.

In the U.S. and other Western countries, children ages 4 to 15 now spend about the same amount of time on TikTok as they do on YouTube, according to recent research from Qustodio.

Stateside, policymakers have been suspicious of TikTok’s growing global presence for more than a year.

In May, four U.S. Senators urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok for allegedly collecting personal information from children younger than 13. Their appeal came just a day after 14 House Democrats made a similar request.

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