What is Reels and is it better than TikTok? - Dexerto

What is Reels and is it better than TikTok?

Published: 6/Aug/2020 15:40

by Alice Hearing


With the terrifying news that TikTok could be banned in the United States, several competitors have come out of the woodwork to try to capitalize on TikTok’s immense success – including Instagram’s new ‘Reels’.

Reels launched yesterday on August 5, and it’s Instagram’s answer to TikTok, enabling users who already have an account to make and discover short-form videos.

The product has just been launched across 50 countries including key markets such as the US, UK, Brazil, France, and Australia.

What’s Different?

To begin with, short-form videos are limited to 15 seconds, whereas TikTok allows 60 seconds. At launch, Reels users won’t be able to duet with each other either.

But like TikTok, Reels offers different editing tools such as AR effects, countdown timers, and an align tool to line up different takes.

Functionally, Reels are very similar to TikTok.

Instagram will offer music, but users won’t be able to directly upload songs into the system. Original sounds can be used in recordings, but they cannot be uploaded directly as separate tracks.

However, one advantage over TikTok is that users don’t have to worry so much about copyrighted tracks being deleted from their videos, thanks to Instagram’s deals with major record labels.

How to use it

The Reels feature is built into the Instagram camera users already know how to use, so the whole thing stays within the one app. At the bottom of the screen, you can select Reels next to the Story and Live options. Editing tools will then appear on the left-hand side.

Reels on instagram profile
Reels are shared to your Instagram profile.

Is there a version of the For You page? To an extent. Reels can be discovered through a new part of the explore space within Instagram where videos are presented in a personalized vertical feed, much like TikTok. Videos can also be featured which means that they’re chosen and curated by Instagram itself.

Reels can be private or public, so they can be uploaded to your normal feed or your stories, or you can opt for them to be discoverable in the explore tab.

If TikTok sticks around, however, will Instagram Reels still live on to become a success? Instagram successfully took the stories feature from Snapchat and made it even more popular in their own app, and evidently they think it could happen again.

The most important test will be if Instagram can perfect the algorithm that has made TikTok so spectacular.


Stormzy drops ‘Rainfall’ music video in Watch Dogs, and it actually slaps

Published: 23/Oct/2020 2:14

by Isaac McIntyre


Stormzy has officially made his Watch Dogs Legion debut with the release of his ‘Rainfall’ music video, which was filmed entirely inside Ubisoft’s upcoming trilogy sequel and if we’re being honest, the whole thing is kind of awesome.

Every day another celebrity seems to find their way into the digital world. This year, Ninja and Aussie Twitch streamer Loserfruit were both added to Fortnite. Then, just last month, Dr Disrespect had a unique variant skin and themed ‘Arena’ map he designed released in Rogue Company.

Now it’s British grime rapper Stormzy’s turn, in Watch Dogs: Legion.

The rapper, 27, released a music video for his new single “Rainfall” on Thursday, Oct. 22, with a bit of a twist ⁠— the entire clip was filmed in Ubisoft’s upcoming sequel.

A digital Stormzy first appeared in a virtual studio, singing his new single. The scenery soon changed, however, and he was transported ⁠— all in-game ⁠— to the rooftops of London, where the new Watch Dogs sequel will mainly be taking place.

Here’s the new music video, featuring Tiana Major9, in all its glory.

This isn’t the only time Stormzy will be appearing in Watch Dogs Legion either. When the full Legion title drops on Oct. 29, players will get the chance to team-up with the grime rapper, or at least a virtual version of him, for an exclusive side-quest.

The mission, “Fall on My Enemies,” is a reference to Stomrzy’s lyrics in ‘Rainfall.’ 

When accepted, players will be tasked with “protecting the broadcast of the music video across the entire city.” Ubisoft has yet to confirm how long the mission will be, or whether it has any major bearing on the main Watch Dogs storyline.

Stormzy first revealed his collaboration back in September. He said, “You lot are about to have your minds blown. What [Ubisoft] have done in terms of recreating London is one of the most insane, epic, incredible things I’ve ever seen.”

Stormzy 'filmed' his entire Rainfall music video inside Watch Dogs: Legion.
YouTube: Stormzy
Stormzy ‘filmed’ his entire Rainfall music video inside Watch Dogs: Legion.

The Watch Dogs devs said they were “thrilled” to have Stormzy onboard. “His music and what he speaks to as an artist is extremely relevant for our London setting, and for the larger themes of our game. He lit up the room… it was a career highlight for us to get to work with him.”

Ubisoft has confirmed the exclusive Stormzy Rainfall mission will be available from day one in Watch Dogs Legion, and will require no additional DLC patches to play.

The Watch Dogs trilogy sequel will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on Thursday, October 29. The title will also be ported to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 when the next-gen consoles are released in late 2020.