LA Tech Updates: Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor

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  • Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor, Reels

          Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor, Reels

          Instagram Reels

          Reels, the Instagram video-sharing product to rival TikTok and Triller, launched Wednesday in 50 countries including the U.S.

          Reels lets users create short-form edited videos with filters, all set to music. Creators can share them with their followers or, on public accounts, make them widely watchable through Instagram's explore page.

          Reels represents Instagram's latest attempt to draw in users loyal to apps like TikTok, the Culver City-headquartered company that's in talks with Microsoft for a potential sale after President Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.

          In a recent blog post promising more transparency, TikTok's CEO called Reels a "copycat product."

          Before Reels, Facebook — which owns Instagram — tried its hand with Lasso, a similar product that shut down in early July.

          YouTube is planning to release its own TikTok rival, Shorts, by the end of the year. The feature would also let users upload video featuring licensed music from YouTube's catalog.

          Triller is another app that has seen user interest rise as TikTok hits headwinds. The company saw a massive uptick in users after India's prime minister banned a slew of Chinese apps including TikTok in June.

          "Instagram is excited to see how the community gets creative with Reels and for members to discover + break a whole new generation of Instagram talent," the company said in a statement.

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          The largest property technology or "proptech" venture firm Fifth Wall is joining the SPAC boom.

          In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Comission this week, the firm said its creating a special acquisition company (SPAC) and intends to raise up to $287 million by selling 28.75 million shares at $10 a piece to seek out opportunities in real estate tech.

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          Electric vehicle charging station provider EVgo is going public, joining a wave of companies in the electric vehicle industry hoping to ride on Tesla's soaring stock growth over the last year.

          The Los Angeles-based startup, which operates a nationwide fast-charging network for electric vehicles, announced Friday it's going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company that will generate about $575 million in net proceeds.

          The deal with the SPAC, Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corp., values EVgo at $2.6 billion. Shares shot up more than 66% on the news.

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          In 2012, Evan Britton founded a website premised upon what the web arguably does best: help people obsess over celebrities.

          Britton launched his first site in 1999 as a senior in college and has since made his living monetizing web clicks.

          When he created Famous Birthdays as a sort of Wikipedia of celebrities nine years ago, Tiktok wasn't even born and Snap had barely launched. The term "influencers" had yet to seep into the mainstream. But as social media created a new form of celebrity, the site has morphed into a pillar of the teen-centric world of online personalities and creators.

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