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REELS OPENS TO A TOUGH CROWD

It's been a week since Facebook-owned Instagram debuted Reels, their brand new TikTok-rivaling feature within their application. Reels initially opened with much confusion and curiosity among users, as a windowed roll out left some user left in the dust while celebrities and influencers posted new videos with the new feature. 

It is widely referred to as TikTok's "clone" or "copycat" by critics. While Instagram had enormous success with their Stories feature, which was also a blatant ripoff of a competitor—the hot Snapchat at the time—most believe the Reels experience doesn't come close to TikTok. The New York Times called Reels a "Dud," with Tech writer Taylor Lorenz adding "It’s horrible. Not only does Reels fail in every way as a TikTok clone, but it’s confusing, frustrating and impossible to navigate."

The Verge called Reels forgettable, saying it is "easy to miss entirely." It also can't compete on the content front, as most of Reels' videos are TikTok clips, with the knockout punch being TikTok's esteemed algorithm. 

It's clear that some Boomers will entertain Reels within Instagram. But don't expect Gen-Z to abandon ship or be fooled by Instagram's knockoff product. 

Adding salt to the wound is a lawsuit filed by REELZchannel for trademark infringement and unfair competition, among other claims. The network has been around since 2006 and is featured in 50m homes across the nation. 

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