The Trump administration is currently considering banning TikTok in the United States.
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is considering a ban on the TikTok app. The decision stems from the fact that the app is rumored to be a tool of the Chinese government to surveil the American population.
In the wake of this news, competitor apps are springing up left and right. On Thursday, Instagram confirmed its plans to launch a competitor of its own called Reels.
“We’re excited to bring Reels to more countries, including the U.S., in early August,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. “The community in our test countries has shown so much creativity in short-form video, and we’ve heard from creators and people around the world that they’re eager to get started as well.”
Instagram hasn’t shied away from taking cues from rival apps before. In 2016, the platform added the story feature (like Snapchat). When asked about the move, the app’s head Adam Mosseri spoke glowingly about the app’s willingness to learn from rivals.
“They invented that format,” Mosseri admitted. “They get the credit for that format. We are in a place where we have to be willing to acknowledge when someone did something awesome and try to learn from it. Ideally, we learn why it works on a fundamental level and we do a version of it that makes more sense given our specifics.”
On Wednesday, Secretary Pompeo said the decision whether to ban TikTok could come in “weeks, not months.”