Are IG Reels gaining popularity with TikTok facing possible ban?

Kylie Tanimura, News

As TikTok faces a partial acquisition by Microsoft or a possible ban in the United States, Instagram released Reels on Aug. 15 as a direct competitor in more than 49 countries, according to TheVerge News

Instagram Reels are 15-second clips set to music. They’re a brand-new way to create fun and engaging video content from Instagram stories, according to Instagram

Instagram hopes Reels will draw TikTok users away from their rival, Mashable reports

A student weighs the risks and benefits of keeping TikTok on her phone in the few days before the app could be banned in the United States. The potential Sept. 15 ban, while of marginal importance to her, is getting TikTok’s employees feeling anxious and angry over President Trump’s crackdown. It means more potential job losses in an economy already soaring with unemployment and a national reckoning over what the Internet should be. Photo and caption by Virgil Lin 2020.

Nearly a dozen TikTok creators spoke with TIME saying they’re planning to experiment with Reels while still maintaining their presence on TikTok; they say they have invested time and talent on the fated platform and are ready for new options.

“TikTok, it’s like Vine, I don’t think it’s going to be around forever,” Mwaafrika, a TikTok creator said. 

TikTok creators have been looking to the future with an audience scattered across a number of different platforms, each with their own requirements. Creators know there’s still work to be done if they want to stay relevant. 

From a survey asking 64 Hawaii students which they prefer, Reels or Instagram, most teenagers said TikTok. 

“TikTok is like the original app and Reels is literally the same as TikTok,” Kady Ann Okamura (12) said. “People just repost TikToks on there.” 

TikTok has been around for three years and gained its fame after the shutdown of Vine in 2016, formerly Musically. Reels was just introduced on August 5 and is still growing in popularity and gaining a fan base. 

“I like Reels because you can watch/discover creators that make the content you enjoy,” Kailee Gabris (9) said. “There are artists sharing their works and even comedy-type videos that are entertaining. It can also inspire you.”

In the 64 students surveyed, some said they couldn’t pick a side, liking and using both equally. 

“They both put out great content for people to laugh at,” Austin Crowell (9) said. “They may be similar in some ways but both have a different take on things they put out.”