With TikTok facing bans left and right, competitors like Instagram have scrambled to introduce clones such as Reels to audiences. Now, Instagram's parent company Facebook is looking for its chance to capitalize within its own app as well with a new Short Videos section it is presenting to Indian users at the top of their News Feeds.
The viewing interface puts video at the center of the experience, up-and-down scrolling between clips, and engagement actions at the bottom right of the screen. Users are also encouraged to create videos themselves with a dedicated button at the top of the screen. We weren't able to gather if there is a hard time limit for these clips — TikToks are capped at 15 seconds.
Facebook has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is testing Short Videos in India right now. The country banned TikTok and other Chinese apps back in June following a border conflict that resulted in fatalities. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered a stop to all transactions with TikTok starting September 20.
It'll be interesting to see if Facebook ends up spreading around a redundant feature again — as was the case with Stories — or if it even brings back a mothballed concept like its old Lasso app to meet the challenge.