Instagram Reels in India as TikTok ban continues

How big can Instagram Reels become? And will TikTok continue its unabated global rise?

Both are questions that we’ve been asking a lot recently, and even more so since India announced a ban on Chinese-owned apps. A ban that included the world’s most downloaded app of 2020.

Last week we asked if Reels could be a genuine threat to them, and with this news it could well happen sooner than many, including Instagram, expected.

For many people this may not sound like a big deal. TikTok is amongst the most popular apps in many countries around the world, including the US and UK, so what does it have to fear? But it is in India where it has its biggest audience.

To put it into context, May saw 13.19m downloads on Google Play in India. The next most was 5.48m in Brazil. That is how much of a deal it is for the company and why it will try its best to see the ban lifted as soon as possible.

In the short-term there will certainly be an interest in Reels and it will be interesting to see if a TikTok starved audience moves over to a new platform. This test could be the make or break for Instagram’s newest big copycat feature, as it will show for sure whether people use it in the numbers they hope will.

So will Reels end up being the next Bonfire, the first Houseparty clone that closed in 2019, or Stories, which effectively halted the growth of Snapchat? The next few weeks will be very telling. 

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