LA Tech Updates: Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor

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 Santa Monica-based movie-ticketing service Atom Tickets has pre-sold more tickets for "Godzilla vs. Kong" than any film since the start of lockdown.

          Following a disastrous year for the box office, its performance could be a litmus test for Hollywood and the many theaters that teetered on the brink during the pandemic.

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          Sam Blake

          Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake

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          Despite — or in many cases because of — the raging pandemic, 2020 was a great year for many tech startups. It turned out to be an ideal time to be in the video game business, developing a streaming ecommerce platform for Gen Z, or helping restaurants with their online ordering.

          But which companies in Southern California had the best year? That is highly subjective of course. But in an attempt to highlight who's hot, we asked dozens of the region's top VCs to weigh in.

          We wanted to know what companies they wish they would have invested in if they could go back and do it all over again.

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          Ben Bergman

          Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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