Copying things from others is never a sin. That at least according to Facebook. And that rule applies to all of its properties.
After famously, and blatantly copying Snapchat among others, the Facebook-owned Instagram has done it again, and this time, is by copying TikTok's feature called Duets.
Instagram calls its iteration, the 'Remix', which is an add-on to the Reels feature that allows users to record new Reels videos alongside Reels from other users.
To use the new Remix feature, users should tap on the three-dot icon in a particular Reel, and select the 'Remix this Reel' option.
The view then splits to the original Reel, and a user’s new one where a recording can be made side by side.
After the new combined reel is recorded, users can adjust other things, like volume or adding a voiceover before publishing the new Remix.
Remixed Reels will then appear in the Reels Tab. Users can also see who Remixed their Reels by going to the Activity tab.
On TikTok, Duets is a popular feature that is used primarily as a platform to host “reactions” to content posted by other users on the platform. Some of the most popular content produced on TikTok are reactions or additions to videos uploaded by other creators, which adds a deep community feel to the platform.
Duets also allows TikTok to be able to provide organic engagement and expansion of content from a wide variety of users.
This is why Duets is one of TikTok's most valued features.
Facebook is a company that responds extremely fast to competition. Seeing that TikTok is gaining traction, it's only a matter of time before Facebook copies this competitor.
And Instagram Remix through Reels here, is basically a carbon-copy of the Duets experience.
Now you can use the Remix feature in Reels to create your own reel next to one that already exists
Whether you’re capturing your reaction, responding to friends or bringing your own magic to trends, Remix is another way to collab on Instagram pic.twitter.com/eU8x74Q3yf
— Instagram (@instagram) March 31, 2021
According to Instagram representative Devi Narasimhan, the photo- and video-sharing platform introduces this feature in hopes of giving users new and creative ways to find community, interact with their audience or fans, and create content. Upon its launch, Instagram enlisted the help of some famous individuals like John Legend, viral dancer Jackson Chavis and others.
"Interactive tools such as Live Rooms, polls and questions in Stories, and AR effects have always been a huge part of how people connect on Instagram," Narasimhan said.
"We’re excited to bring that collaborative magic to Reels, and give people more ways to create and engage with the trends, songs and creators that are making culture on Instagram with Remix."
And when asked about the copy-cat thing Instagram is doing, Narasimhan said good things about TikTok, and credited it.
"TikTok has great tools that work for their community, like Duets" and that Instagram is launching Remix to continue the usage of interactive tools that are "one of the most-used and favorite parts of Instagram."
This time, or at least initially, users cannot use older Reels, and instead, can only create Remix from newly-uploaded Reels. This may limit the amount of classic content that can be fiddled with via Instagram’s Duets-knockoff.
According to reports, Instagram is not the only one copying TikTok though. Snapchat is also working on a Duets-like feature around the same time that Snapchat was reportedly working on adding the feature.
The addition of Remix is just the feature in a long list of features Facebook has implemented to its properties by copying competitors.
Facebook clearly knows that despite it's the largest social media in the world, by also owning some of the most popular platforms as its properties, it acknowledges that it may not be able to keep its throne if it ever fail to address the market's demand. Facebook is known to acquire companies if it sees fit. And it it cannot, it will try to obliterate it through various means.
And one of which, is by blatantly copying them, in hopes that competitors won't have a chance when fighting against it.
Instagram may not have many new or bright ideas.
But since it has Facebook behind its back, Instagram can tap into the social giant's virtually limitless resources to quickly provide new features found in competitor apps to keep users coming back.