Facebook goes all-in for short videos. After flirting with the idea in Lasso, a TikTok clone tested in select markets, and recently adding a similar feature called Reels to Instagram, the company is looking for a new venue for this TikTok -esque experience: The big blue app.
The company confirmed to theinformationsuperhighway that it is testing short videos in the Facebook app in India, the largest market for users. In the current avatar, "short videos" has its own area in the news feed. Above that is the "Create" button that you tap to prompt the Facebook camera to start. Users can browse videos by swiping up.
"We're always testing new creative tools to see how people want to express themselves. Short-form videos are extremely popular and we're looking for new ways to give people the ability to connect, create, and share on Facebook." a Facebook spokesperson told theinformationsuperhighway.
Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, first revealed the existence of the new test.
The test comes as Facebook continues to benefit from the absence of TikTok, the ByteDance Own app that was banned by India at the end of June. Facebook launched Reels in India last month, weeks before it launched in dozens of other markets. According to a source familiar with the matter, the daily engagement of Facebook services in India has increased by more than 25% since the ban on TikTok.
Numerous local startups, including Twitter-supported streaming services Gaana and MX Player from ShareChat and Times Internet, have launched standalone apps or built-in features to replicate the social experience that TikTok has provided users with over the past few weeks. The local apps have claimed to have added tens of millions of new users during the reporting period.
Youtube has also rolled out a similar feature to more users in India in the past few weeks, which is still in the testing phase.
The urgency of Facebook's attempt to attract users with short videos stems from the fact that TikTok is planning ways to re-enter the market. ByteDance works with the Indian conglomerate Reliance theinformationsuperhighway reported earlier this week that industries are looking to sell stakes in TikTok's local business.