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Instagram focuses on creators with new tools, doubles down on video

The Facebook-owned social network is testing a way to co-author posts and short videos. On Friday, it's also releasing the ability to post on desktop.

Instagram has been doubling down on efforts to compete with short-form video app TikTok. 
Sarah Tew/CNET

Instagram said it's rolling out new features, including a way to co-author posts and short videos, underscoring the Facebook-owned social network's effort to double down on retaining and attracting creators.


Instagram's Collabs tool lets you invite another user to co-author a post or short video. 


Starting this week, Instagram is testing a tool called Collabs that will allow a user to invite another user as a collaborator on a post or short video on Reels, a product within the app for recording clips up to a minute. Posts and videos that are co-authored will be shared to both sets of followers. Views, likes and comments will also be from both accounts. Instagram said it will start testing a tool on Wednesday that lets users create a fundraiser. 

The photo- and video-sharing platform is also releasing other tools near the end of the week, which Instagram is calling "Product Week." The effort aims "to help people take their content to the next level and connect better with their audiences." Social networks like Instagram have been rolling out more tools to help creators as competition with short-form video app TikTok heats up. 

The product releases also come as Instagram and Facebook face more scrutiny for its impact on teenagers' mental health. The Wall Street Journal published a series of stories about internal research, including an article that said Facebook knows that Instagram is "toxic" for teen girls. Facebook says its research is being mischaracterized and noted Instagram also helps people keep in touch with family and friends, and has other positive effects. 

Instagram said it will also release on Friday a highly requested feature that lets users post photos and videos up to a minute long from their desktop browser. The company is doubling down on Reels, a TikTok competitor, on Thursday by adding a tool called Dynamic or 3D lyrics that displays song lyrics in a video. It's also rolling out a feature called Superbeat that intelligently adds special effects after users add music to their videos.