- The Facebook-owned Instagram has been dangling cash before high-profile TikTok creators to try to lure them to its new short-form video service, Reels, according to a report.
- The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources as saying Instagram was offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases ahead of Reel's expected rollout in August.
- Reels is widely seen as Facebook's attempt to compete with TikTok, an app that topped 2 billion global downloads in April.
- Business Insider approached Facebook for comment.
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Facebook's Instagram may be looking to pay cold, hard cash to lure popular TikTok creators to its new rival short-form-video service, Reels.
That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which on Tuesday cited unnamed sources as saying that Instagram was in some cases offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to persuade high-profile TikTok creators to use Reels.
The Journal didn't name particular creators who had been approached but described it as a direct escalation in competition between Facebook and the ByteDance-owned TikTok.
Business Insider has approached Facebook for comment.
Instagram Reels is a short-form video feature expected to roll out in the US in August, and it looks like a direct rival to TikTok. It's being tested in India, Brazil, France, and Germany. The feature will live inside Instagram's existing Stories features.
One key difference is that Reels' short videos are limited to 15 seconds, versus 60 seconds for TikTok. You can read a walkthrough here.
TikTok has posed a major challenge to Facebook, surpassing Instagram with 2 billion global downloads in April. The app is hugely appealing to younger users, a base Facebook is keen to maintain. The app is also under considerable scrutiny in the US, however, thanks to worries about privacy and security tied to its Chinese ownership.
On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear before a congressional antitrust committee as part of a wider, unprecedented antitrust grilling on big tech. Zuckerberg is expected to present his firm as a homegrown US tech champion, positioning Facebook firmly against Chinese upstarts like ByteDance.