Menlo Park (dpa) - Facebook's Instagram photo app extends the test of its short video format Reels to Germany. Reels are called up to 15 seconds long videos on Instagram, which can be underlaid with music or special effects.

The Chinese platform TikTok in particular has been extremely successful with such short clips. Facebook is known for jumping on new trends and not leaving the field to the rivals.

After a first test run in Brazil, there were some changes to the Reels concept, Instagram product manager Vishal Shah said at the start of the function. This means that the short videos can no longer only be shared with others via the “Stories” area, which is updated every day, but also via the central Instagram feed. The aim is to make the short videos more discoverable.

The reels do not get their own button in Instagram's menu bar, but appear in the users' feed and in the upper part of the screen in the “Discover” area. For this field, an Instagram team will create a selection of publicly available Reels videos.

From there, an Instagram user can also choose the reels clips of individual authors. If you control their profiles from elsewhere, the short videos are not displayed. Users can also view other clips with a special song from the Reels field - lip-sync videos, in which you move your mouth to the music, are a hit with TikTok.

While you can also create the reels clips with other apps and upload them to Instagram, the photo service also wants to make shooting with the in-house app appealing to users. There are buttons for the music selection - Facebook secured rights for many songs - as well as for effects such as slow motion or superimposed backgrounds. Users can also record a series of reels. The short videos can only be shot in portrait format. In addition to Germany, Instagram also makes the format available in France.

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