TikTok has already been banned in India and is going through quite a controversial phase in the USA and other parts of the world. Amid this, there is a tremendous race to capture the short-form video format and Facebook saw this as a great opportunity to build pressure on TikTok and has begun testing a new format for feed on its main app which involves the aforementioned video format, exclusively in India.
Tech blogger Matt Navarra shared a Tweet posted by Roneet Michael which showed how Facebook is testing the new short video format within its news feed which was quite reminiscent of TikTok’s vertical feed format. Facebook offers additional prompts to aid users to create their own short videos.
With the global release of Reels on Instagram, Facebook had already taken a chunk of the market, however, a majority of Indian TikTokers aren’t Instagram users and Facebook has a much larger user base in India. Since it seems unlikely that TikTok is going to be making a return to India any time soon, adding this feature might just be the perfect move for Facebook’s Indian audiences.
This move is also in line with adding consistency to Facebook’s eco-system which can help invite and retain more users on both platforms. Add to this the opportunity to monetise videos and craters would start rushing towards Facebook platforms and ditch the idea of TikTok for good. However, it is too soon to say how this update will be received, especially amidst its recent controversy in India around political bias