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FACEBOOK GOES IN FOR THE KILL

As TikTok fights for its life in the U.S., among other territories, Facebook is preparing to launch its own version of the Gen-Z championed app: Instagram Reels.

Reports of Facebook being weeks away from the launch of their TikTok competitor app, Reels, should come as no surprise. Mark Zuckerberg has led the charge on criticism of TikTok's connection to Beijing, citing data and security concerns for Americans. Facebook itself is banned in China, although Zuckerberg has made attempts to make peace with the Chinese government in hopes of getting access to the territory. 

It's only natural that Facebook would deliver a blow to TikTok while its struggling to keep its head above water. In 2016, Instagram launched Stories, which was a clear copycat of the hottest new app at the time, Snapchat. Instagram's success with Stories (400m+ daily users) cratered Snapchat's momentum. That, along with a few highly criticized Snapchat interface changes—a 2018 tweet from Kylie Jenner blasting Snap's update led to a $1 billion loss in market value—was enough to put Snapchat to sleep. 

With experience delivering lethal blows to their competitors, does Facebook/IG have the juice this time to put a dent in TikTok's armor? A lot has changed in the four years since Stories launched. TikTok owns the Gen-Z market. Instagram is the millenial app of choice, but the romance is fading.

Suddenly, xenophobia and data/security concerns have become Facebook/IG's strongest marketing tool to appeal to millenial users. Will Gen-Z users care about Reels? If they have no other option, probably. 

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