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Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, this Drip Crib TikTok Collab Mansion reality show pops up. 🤦‍♀️ But let's move on — to Reels, TikTok, and so much more. ⬇️

 The Reel Deal? 

Reels vs. TikTok 🤼‍♂️

TikTok didn't waste much time before throwing some shade on copycat competitor Reels, which Facebook made available on Instagram in 50+ countries last week. Reels was first launched in Brazil in 2019, and is now available in dozens of countries, including India that recently banned TikTok (along with a host of other China-based apps). Perhaps no one is more excited than Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who posted his first Reels video last week featuring his 9-year-old pup, named Beast.

And while at first glance it seems like Reels is a carbon copy of the video-sharing app (much like when Stories was stolen from Snapchat), there are some key differences that may impact its future (we bet Facebook is hoping it survives longer than its first TikTok copycat, Lasso, which it killed in July). 

 The difference 
How Reels is the same as TikTok:
  • You can add music and audio to videos
  • You can add filters and other effects 
  • You can swipe up to see the next video
  • You can see content from people you don't "follow"
  • You can like, comment, share and save videos and audio

How Reels is different from TikTok:
  • Music doesn't play automatically; you have to manually turn sound on 
  • Content is (currently) driven by influencers and celebrities vs. the grass roots and organic storytelling on TikTok
  • The videos tend to be more "how-to's" and/or curated à la Instagram-style
  • TikTok is built on AI that understands what you like watching and serves up more of the same content

 What’s next? 
It's hard to say whether Reels will stick, especially given the many unknowns in the potential U.S. ban of TikTok (more on that below). Meanwhile, Facebook's financial stock rallied by 6% after the launch of Reels (not sure about its social stock, though).
 TikTok: Hold my beer 
As early as Tuesday, TikTok is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration, according to NPR. The lawsuit alleges the executive order that U.S. President Trump filed late Thursday is unconstitutional because it didn’t give the company enough time to respond. "We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process," TikTok said in a statement. Trump’s executive order says that within 45 days, anyone in the U.S. will be barred from carrying out “transactions” with TikTok — as well as popular messaging and payments platform WeChat — citing security concerns. Meanwhile, talks continue with Microsoft, which is hoping to purchase the U.S. operations of ByteDance-owned TikTok (something China is calling “theft” and “robbery.”) Recent reports also suggest that Twitter and TikTok have had some preliminary chats (let’s just hope that this isn’t another Vine sitch). 
 Don't stop the music 
Music may be the new battleground in social media domination. TikTok is the defacto place where careers and songs launch (think Lil Nas X’s Old Towne Road and Drake’s Toosie Slide). And music is the soundtrack to most of the videos created there — from lip syncing, to dance routines and storytelling. But now that Facebook has launched Reels (a TikTok copycat) it’s looking to catch up on the music front. It took a step forward on July 31 when it announced that users in the U.S. would be able to discover, watch and share music videos on FB. It’s also promising global premieres and new music videos. Meanwhile, COVID has created demand for virtual concerts. TikTok held its first virtual concert last Friday featuring The Weeknd, and YouTube is promoting itself as your “virtual concert venue.” And if you’ve been using Google Play Music, you’ll want to move everything over to YouTube Music before the end of 2020
 National Black Business Month 
August is National Black Business Month, and with so many being hit hard during the pandemic, some social media platforms are stepping up to promote and support black-owned businesses. Facebook is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to host free virtual training sessions, panels and speakers. It also has programming planned for Facebook Elevate, a community and learning platform for black-owned businesses and Creators. And there is a Facebook Live Event on Aug. 12 in The Shade Room for a discussion on the pandemic’s impact on businesses owned by BIPOC. Meanwhile, you can read an interview featuring Mandy Bowman, founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, on the Snapchat blog. And of course, don’t forget to support BIPOC-owned businesses in your own community. 

We have an opportunity to do better and remake the digital world, to look at the past and use it to inform the future. 


Prince Harry calling on social media companies to reform, as written in an op-ed article for Fast Company.

🔴 Instagram rolled out some new fonts for Stories (in Create mode) and some people aren't too excited

🔴 Facebook has joined Twitter and TikTok in taking action against QAnon conspiracy groups, recently removing a group with 200,000 members

🔴 Twitter is adding labels to government and state-affiliated media accounts

🔴 TikTok is planning to launch its first TV app, while also vowing to fight misinformation and election interference

🔴 Snapchat is planning to help get the vote out for U.S. elections in November; meanwhile, prepare for your Bitmoji to get a preppy makeover

🔴 LinkedIn has announced a zero-waste commitment, with a goal to eliminate waste by 2030

🔴 YouTube has redesigned its blog

And the top app worldwide in July 2020 was...

You guessed it, TikTok. According to mobile app marketing intelligence firm Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded non-gaming app worldwide, with 65.2 million installs. In second place was Facebook, with 53.6 million installs.
And if you're looking for some feel-good news, enjoy watching these twin YouTubers react to a Phil Collins' favourite "In the Air Tonight.
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