Instagram “Clips” clones TikTok’s video editor in prototype

By Jane Manchun Wong, @wongmjane on 

Social media companies often innovate with new features in this increasingly competitive social media space. Instead of innovating or acquiring, companies sometimes found themselves “inspired” by features in other apps.

By reverse engineering, I noticed that Instagram has been working on a new Story Camera mode called “Clips” since early July.

Just like TikTok, “Clips” allows users to record segments of videos into a single video Story. Just like TikTok, users can overlay music on clips. Just like TikTok, users can adjust the speed and timer of each video clips.

To me, this is unsurprising because TikTok is a rising star in the social media space, and Instagram/Facebook has shown the pattern of cloning features from competitors.

Perhaps due to the unreleased nature of “Clips”, there are a few features from TikTok’s video editor that Instagram yet to be inspired from, such as Effect and Filters. To Instagram, these features should be relatively easy to implement using “Spark AR”, Facebook’s augmented reality technology.

Experimental features like this could come and go. The time it takes to develop and release one varies. Though it would be interesting to see whether Instagram will manage to keep users from switching to TikTok by being inspired by their features.

Jane Manchun Wong © 2019