Social media giant Facebook (FB) is quietly testing its new Instagram Reels feature in India, according to a report from Business Insider.
Instagram Reels is a video-music remix feature that enables users to record 15-second videos with audio and music, and then share these videos via Stories and direct messages to friends, or to the Explorer tab under a new section called Top Reels.
The move comes just days after India banned the extremely popular Chinese video-making app TikTok in the country, along with 58 other Chinese apps, citing privacy concerns.
Instagram Reels is already available in Brazil, France and Germany- and should make its way to other countries soon, says the report. It differs from FB’s recently discontinued app Lasso in that the feature comes as part of Instagram, rather than as a separate app.
“We’re planning to start testing an updated version of Reels in more countries,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Reels,” they added, “is a fun, creative way for people to both express themselves and be entertained.”
In June, Facebook tied forces with Indian music label Saregama, bringing the label’s music catalogue to both the Facebook and Instagram platforms- as well as to Instagram Reels.
“We are very proud to partner with Saregama that will allow people on our platforms, globally, to use their favourite retro Indian music to further enrich their content on our platforms,” said Manish Chopra, director and head of Partnerships at Facebook India, in a statement at the time.
Shares in Facebook are trading up 17% year-to-date and analysts have a bullish Strong Buy consensus on the stock. That’s with 28 recent buy ratings vs 4 hold ratings. Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at $249 (4% upside potential). (See FB stock analysis on TipRanks).
“For the foreseeable future, we anticipate Facebook will struggle with weak digital ad spending trends and remain vulnerable to a deluge of negative media headlines; however, we believe the stock remains inexpensive and Facebook has an opportunity to emerge from this crisis a stronger company” explained Monness analyst Brian White on July 1.
He reiterated a buy rating on the stock and $230 price target, while reducing his 2020 revenue estimate to $72.43 billion from $75.13 billion and EPS forecast to $6.03 from $6.80 previously.