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Instagram will not promote Reels with TikTok watermark

India Today logo India Today 10-02-2021 Ankita Chakravarti
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Instagram does not want users to post recycled TikTok videos to Reels. The photo-sharing app said that it will not promote videos with TikTok watermark from Reels. After TikTok was banned in India, a lot of users uploaded their TikTok videos on Instagram. Although it has the same video format, the videos with TikTok written over it were seen in large numbers on Instagram.

Instagram has said that it is making changes to its algorithm. The social media company wants users to upload original videos in a vertical format rather than reusing the old videos of TikTok. Instagram had said that it will not remove those videos but will stop promoting them on the feed. Although the post will be visible, it may not appear on the feed of the app.

"We're building on what we've learned from Explore to recommend fun and entertaining videos in places like the Reels tab, and personalize the experience. We are getting better at using ranking signals that help us predict whether people will find a reel entertaining and whether we should recommend it," spokesperson Devi Narasimhan told The Verge.

Considering both Reels and TikTok have identical formats, users find it convenient to use the same videos on both platforms. However, once a video is uploaded on TikTok, it gets published with a watermark. The same video when published on Reels may not be promoted but it will also not be removed. The company wants users to make unique and fresh videos for Reels using the songs that are available in Instagram's music library not the ones from TikTok or any other platform.

Soon after TikTok was banned in India in June, Instagram added a Reels tab to its app. There is no standalone app for Reels but it performs the same job as TikTok. Reels lets users discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world

On a related note, Instagram is planning to make the Stories look like Reels. If reports are to be trusted, Instagram will soon launch a Vertical Stories feed. The new layout would make it easier for people to swipe stories vertically instead of swiping left and right.

The feature was first spotted by tipster Alexandra Paluzzi. In the screenshot shared by Paluzzi, you can see a short intro given by Instagram about its Vertical Stories feed. The pop-up reads, "Swipe up and down to browse stories".

A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that it is working on the feature but it is not available for public usage as of now. "This is an early prototype and is not currently testing on Instagram."

Although Instagram has confirmed working on the feature, it has not revealed when the feature will be rolled out. However, when this happens, the app would resemble TikTok a lot. Instagram might also priorities videos over photos if the vertical stories feed are rolled out. In that case, the content that goes up in Reels and Stories separately will be unified once the feature is made available to the public.

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