Instagram launches separate Reels tab for India users

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

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.

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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 sovereignty of the country, on June 29.

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

The 118 mobile apps banned by the government had issues around security, surveillance, and data privacy of Indian users, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The apps banned on Wednesday include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Alipay, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat reading, Government WeChat, Tencent Weiyun, APUS Launcher Pro, APUS Security, Cut Cut, ShareSave by Xiaomi, and CamCard, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, an official statement said.

It cited numerous complaints received by the IT Ministry from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data to servers outside India.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT said the compilation of data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, was a matter of deep and immediate concern which required emergency measures.

Meanwhile, the minister said Samsung, contract manufacturers, and other firms have committed to make mobile phones and components in India worth $153 billion in the coming five years.

Edited by Javed Gaihlot