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Instagram launches separate Reels tab for India users

Facebook-owned Instagram on Friday said it has launched a separate tab for ‘Reels’ in India, making it the first country to get the feature, that will enable users to easily discover short-video content.

In July, Instagram had unveiled its new format ‘Reels’ in India that allows users to create and share short videos.

“Earlier this month, we started testing a new tab on Instagram to make it easier to discover entertaining Reels. Today, we’re expanding this test in India to most of the country. India is the first market we’re launching in due to the interest and creativity we’ve seen,” Facebook India Director and Head of Partnerships Manish Chopra said in a statement on Friday.

The Reels Tab is a new tab in the navigation bar that will replace the Explore tab, and Reels will no longer be in a unit within Explore, the statement said.

The tab will only show Reels, and will have an immersive auto-playing video, a creation entry point that opens to the Reels camera and a sound on by default with tap to toggle on/off, it added.

The Explore tab can be accessed at the top right of the user’s Feed, it said. Reels was introduced in India within weeks of the Indian government banning 59 mobile apps with Chinese links, including the popular short video platform TikTok terming these apps as prejudicial to the sovereignty of the country, on June 29.

Earlier this week, the government had banned 118 more mobile apps, including popular gaming app PUBG, on similar grounds.

A number of homegrown short-video apps like Moj, Roposo and Chingari have seen downloads and usage zooming manifold after TikTok was banned.