This is part of STYLE’s Inside Luxury column. No social media platform has grown faster than TikTok. It now boasts over 800 million users, which is unprecedented for a platform that is barely two years old. It is the darling of Generation Z , allowing users to create and upload short videos with artificial intelligence-supported editing and music tools. It has also become one of the most controversial platforms ever, with US President Donald Trump threatening to ban it over accusations of data collection and sharing, labelling it a national security threat. TikTok's top paid teen influencers revealed Trump: "We're looking at TikTok, we may be banning TikTok." pic.twitter.com/i5WEstwFfS — The Recount (@therecount) July 31, 2020 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s reaction was smart: at a time when the controversy about TikTok is at its peak and users are desperately searching for alternatives, he simply copied the short video idea of the platform and integrated a new functionality called Reels into his Instagram app. It is a similar move to copying Snapchat with Instagram Stories a few years ago. Copy with pride, as the saying goes. The New York Times tested Reels with two journalists. One was a female digital native and TikTok expert, the other journalist had less expertise and tried to make sense of the clone. Their conclusion: “The verdict? For her, it was: Not good. For me, it was: Confused.” For a new app, that sounds catastrophic and may be a result of hastily knocking off the idea and then integrating it into Instagram. In this aspect, it follows the logic of many Silicon Valley start-ups: launch fast, learn and adapt. According to the journalists, the app’s shortcomings were the integration into Instagram, the curation (or lack thereof) of the video and limited creative editing functionality. What are China’s top KOLs posting about during lockdown? . @bxchen has never used TikTok. @TaylorLorenz is a TikTok expert. They got together to review Instagram Reels, the TikTok copycat. https://t.co/W2GzBc4vWu — The New York Times (@nytimes) August 13, 2020 As flawed as Reels may seem, it would be foolish to write it off. When Instagram launched Stories, there was a widespread uproar among Snapchat die-hards. Stories seemed to be a niche product with little functionality. Now it has become one of Instagram’s most popular and influential functionalities, and for brands it is a must to create stories as part of their Instagram strategy. Stories also became a major monetising factor offering vast opportunities for brands to advertise. To attract new customers and create strong engagement, Stories are more important than the main feed for many brands. I am sure that Instagram will improve Reels over time and make it a major part of Instagram. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gucci Official (@gucci) on Jul 16, 2020 at 8:56am PDT This is where Reels could become the game-changer for luxury brands. Video content is always more engaging and emotional than a still image. And luxury brands are all about emotion. While many luxury brands have been absent from TikTok, others have been early adopters. Not surprisingly, Gucci and Dior are leading, with some of their short videos surpassing several million views. Most other luxury brands have been more hesitant, avoiding a platform that, while popular among young millennials and Gen Zers, does not seem intuitive for the Facebook generation. Are Lily, Mabel and Nuala Chee the next Hadid or Jenner sisters? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dior Official (@dior) on Aug 8, 2020 at 1:01am PDT In the meantime, practically all luxury brands focus on Instagram. The marketing teams are familiar with the platforms, many brands have multimillion-dollar advertising budgets to push their content. This will make Reels particularly interesting to companies as it allows brands to adapt to a new format on a familiar and proven platform. I would be surprised if the Reels functionality isn’t soon integrated into Facebook and WhatsApp, following the Stories blueprint. This would take short videos truly mainstream. In turn, this could even give TikTok a boost, if it is able to survive its current political troubles, stay relevant and ahead of competition in terms of functionality. Whoever will win the race, one thing seems clear: short videos will grow disproportionately, and they will become the darling of luxury brands. They will allow to engage, entertain and excite audiences beyond today’s leading formats. Having a holiday? Make us doubly jealous with stylish accessories The question is – which luxury brand will lead the change? Passively watching and waiting is not the right option as our research shows that being perceived as influential and inspiring is one of the most important value perception drivers for luxury brands. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .