Regardless of what's happening with TikTok and the current US President, Instagram's new Reels feature comes at a perfect time for many parents who are mostly ok with their kids being on Instagram but would never let them go near TikTok for a variety of reasons.
From Instagram's blog:
Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.
You can say that Instagram, just like Snapchat + Stories previously, is just copying TikTok. And it's mostly true. But as we've seen with "stealing" the stories idea from Snapchat - it's one thing to have the idea, it's a whole different thing to have the users and platform to launch something like this to the world.
TikTok is huge. But it's not Instagram (and it's owner, Facebook) huge. So many adults are terrified to even touch TikTok - and they're definitely not wanting to let their kids go near it either.
Much like how Apple waits to launch a new feature or hardware until they've seen what the landscape is like - the iPhone was not the first smartphone with apps on it - Instagram is able to learn from what's worked on TikTok, and more importantly, what hasn't. And from that experience, they get to leap off from where TikTok is now and forge a new direction with Reels.
TikTok will survive just like Snapchat has. But the bigger audience will be on Reels and Instagram. And with the bigger audience, creators on Instagram will be able to charge more dollars for sponsorships. And that's hard to ignore if you become really popular on TikTok.
It'll be interesting to see if TikTok continues to let creators have a link to their Instagram account on their TikTok profile or if they cut that off as Instagram tries to siphon off the audience from TikTok.