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Instagram versus TikTok heats up

Posted 28.07.21

Facebook continue to use Instagram as its weapon of choice in their fight for attention with the ever-growing threat posed by TikTok.

In its latest move, Instagram has launched a new feature called “collab” taking a very direct swipe at TikTok “duets” in which two users can collaborate on a post. Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product at Instagram, announced just last week via a Twitter thread here, they were testing the new feature with a limited number of creators in both the UK and India.

The “Collab” feature will allow a creator, from the tagging screen, to invite another user to be a collaborator on a post or reel. If the user accepts will appear in the post or on the reel header and this will be shred to both sets of followers. The obvious application for this will be to support brand and influencer collaborations more seamlessly, should the feature be rolled out more widely.

But this is another in a long line of moves that Instagram has made to combat the growing attention drain as users spend more and more time on TikTok and other rival platforms. Since the launch of Reels last summer and subsequent updates to the feature, providing ad solutions and longer-form video, Instagram has been keen to squash any threat posed by TikTok.

Adam Moserri, Instagram CEO, recently announced changes to the platform with a focus on full-screen recommended videos in the main feed of Instagram, similar to the #FYP on TikTok. Moserri also suggested that “we’re no longer a photo-sharing app” adding that “the number one reason people say that they use Instagram, in research, is to be entertained.” This shift to an entertainment-first video platform puts them in direct competition with TikTok so expect any new features or habits emerging on TikTok to be quickly replicated and reproduced for Instagram.

It looks like the battle for your attention between Instagram and TikTok is just getting started.

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