LA Tech Updates: Instagram Launches TikTok Competitor

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

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 Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks

          David Shultz

          David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

          'The Writing's on the Wall': Electric Batteries' Rapid Progress May Have Just Doomed Natural Gas Trucks
          Image from Tesla

          Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

          But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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          Hoopla’s Deron Quon on Keeping Perspective as a Founder

          Minnie Ingersoll
          Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
          Hoopla’s Deron Quon
          Image courtesy of Deron Quon.

          On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, serial founder and angel investor Deron Quon discusses the human side of entrepreneurship and how a founder’s ethos can impact company culture.

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