Instagram releases new shopping feature with recommendations, trends

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 18, 2020

It launched in India last week - just days after India banned TikTok and more than 50 other Chinese apps citing privacy and security concerns. Reels has also been tested in Brazil, France, and Germany. In Facebook "Shop", the users will be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more. It was just earlier this month that Facebook confirmed it was pulling the plug on that specific endeavor.

United States lawmakers have voiced national security concerns over the short-form video app's handling of user data, saying they were anxious about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies "to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party". Advertisement As for similarities drawn between TikTok and Reels, an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement that "no two services are the same".

Like TikTok, Reels allows users to craft 15-second clips, pinch sounds from other creators, and catch popular Reels in a dedicated feed.

INSTAGRAM started testing REELS in INDIA following TIKTOK's ban.

The move to more quickly roll out Reels to more markets comes as TikTok has come under intense scrutiny for its ties to China. Allegations that the Chinese Communist Party controls ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, have stoked fears about the Chinese government hacking personal and government-owned devices in the United States and other countries to steal information - names, emails, location, and also biometric data that some worry will be stored in China's facial recognition database. TikTok, which is owned by Bytedance, a Beijing-based tech giant, finds its data collection policies under the microscope both in the U.S. and overseas right now; last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. Government is "certainly looking at" banning the app. Facebook has sought to counter rivals by mimicking their services before, including with Instagram stories, which imitated a similar feature from Snapchat. But TikTok users may not jump en masse to a single new app if a ban takes place.

Instagram has now confirmed that Reels will arrive in the early August.

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