Facebook’s Instagram app will reportedly launch a new service in the coming weeks that copies the wildly popular features of the controversial TikTok app.
Instagram Reels which, like TikTok, allows users to make 15-second video clips set to music will make its global debut soon as TikTok faces growing scrutiny over its Chinese ownership from governments worldwide, NBC News reported.
The new Instagram feature, which also enables users’ videos to go viral on a “Top Reels” feed in the app’s Explore section, is currently available in France, Germany, Brazil and India.
The global launch will arrive just weeks after Instagram parent company Facebook killed Lasso, its own TikTok clone.
Instagram has found great success copying the features of Facebook’s rivals, including cribbing stories and face filters from Snapchat.
TikTok has been on the defensive in recent weeks as accusations that the data it collects could be shared with the Chinese government have grown.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the US is “certainly looking” at banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps due to security concerns.
“I don’t want to get out in front of [President Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said. “We are taking this very seriously.”
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US lawmakers have voiced national security concerns over the short-form video app’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Shares of Facebook were down 0.8 percent Thursday morning in pre-market trading, at $238.25.
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