TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance which was launched in 2017 for iOS and Android mainly for markets outside of mainland China. However, it became available worldwide, including in the United States, after merging with Musical.ly on August 2, 2018.

It is used to create short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of 3 to 15 seconds, and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.

Features and trends

The TikTok mobile app is basically an app that allows users to create a short video of themselves which often feature music in the background, can be sped up, slowed down or edited with a filter. Users can also add a sound of their choice to the background music. To create a music video with the app, users can choose background music from a wide variety of music genres, edit with a filter and record a 15-30 second video with speed adjustments before uploading it to share with others on TikTok or other social platforms. They can also film short lip-sync videos to popular songs.

Instagram announced the introduction of a new feature called Instagram reel on the 5th of August 2022. With Instagram Reel you can create fun videos, record, and share 15 seconds clips (unlike TikTok that can extend to 60secs) and share and share with friends and any Instagram user.

Today we’re announcing Instagram Reels: a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram. Reels can be shared with your followers on Feed, and, if it is a public account, they can be made available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore.

Features and trends of Instagram Reels

The Instagram Reels work by selecting Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. A variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen will pop up to help create your reel. Some of the features just like TikTok include:

  • Audio: Songs can be searched from the Instagram music library. Your own original audio can be used by simply recording a reel with it. A reel with original audio when shared, will be attributed to you, and when it is a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.
  • AR Effects: A single effect can be selected from the many effects in the effect gallery, which was created by both Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.
  • Timer and Countdown: you don’t need to hold your phone as a timer can be set to record any of your clips hands-free. A 3-2-1 countdown will be seen when you hold down the record button before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
  • Align: Objects from your previous clip can be lined up before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.
  • Speed: Different speeds can be applied, either to slow or speed up a particular part of the audio or video. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos.

Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery.

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With TikTok set to be banned in the USA and India, the new Instagram Reel is set to replace TikTok in these countries and possibly look to displace TikTok on a global stage. Microsoft is chasing a deal to buy all of TikTok’s global business, including the viral video app’s operations in India and Europe.

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