Introducing Instagram Reels
Instagram launches Reels, its attempt to keep you off TikTok
Instagram Reels : a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.
You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a brand new way to create fun and engaging video content from Instagram Stories. … Similar to TikTok, Instagram users can record and edit together 15-second video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile.
Where are Instagram reels?
An alternative way to watch Instagram Reels is to go to the Explore feed on Instagram by tapping the magnifying glass icon. You’ll see a giant Reels video at the top. Tap Reels and swipe down to watch more Reels videos.
Introducing Instagram Reels
How it Works ?
Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:
- Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.
- AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.
- Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
- Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.
- Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow motion videos.
Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery. Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.
With Reels, you can share with your followers and can be discovered by the huge, diverse Instagram community on Explore.
- If you have a Public Account: You can share your reel to a dedicated space in Explore, where it has the chance to be seen and discovered by the wider Instagram community. You can also share your reel with your followers by posting it to your Feed. When you share reels featuring certain songs, hashtags, or effects, your reel may also appear on dedicated pages when someone clicks on that song, hashtag, or effect.
- If you have a Private Account: Reels follows your privacy settings on Instagram. You can share to Feed so only your followers can see your reel. People will not be able to use original audio from your reels, and people cannot share your reels with others who don’t follow you.
Once your reel is ready, move to the share screen, where you can save a draft of your reel, change the cover image, add a caption and hashtags, and tag your friends.
After you share your reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on your profile, where people can find the reels you’ve shared. If you also share to your Feed, your reel will appear on your main profile grid, though you have the option to remove it.
Whether you have a public or private account, you can share your reel to your Story, close friends, or in a direct message. If you do so, your reel will behave like a regular Story — it will not be shared to Reels in Explore, it will not appear on your profile, and it will disappear after 24 hours.
Reels in Explore showcases the best of trending culture on Instagram. Discover an entertaining selection of reels made by anyone on Instagram, in a vertical feed customized for you. If you love a reel, you can easily like, comment or share it with your friends.
You’ll also see some reels with a “Featured” label. If your reel is featured in Explore, you’ll receive a notification. Featured reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content we hope will entertain and inspire you.
Reels gives people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take center stage.
Instagram Reels: How to Use the New IG Reels feature (2020)
With TikTok’s future uncertain, Instagram is hoping to lure some creators away with the rollout of a direct competitor, Reels, which is launching in more than 50 countries today, including the US, UK, Japan, and Australia, on both iOS and Android.
Similar to TikTok, Reels lets people create short-form videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app. It’s the newest opportunity for Instagram to bring in users, increase the amount of time people spend in the app every day, and establish itself as a video entertainment platform.
Reels allows people to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, as well as an array of filters and effects, over top of them. For creators looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram has revamped its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through — similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.”
Both private and public options are available. If you want to become the next Charli D’Amelio, having a public profile will allow your Reels to be widely discovered. For people who want to share with friends, Reels created under private accounts will only post to a person’s Feed and Stories. The feature lives entirely inside of Instagram; it’s not a new app.
The launch of Reels comes as TikTok faces a potential ban in the United States by President Donald Trump or a possible partial acquisition by Microsoft. ByteDance also said Sunday that Facebook was among the troubles in its path, accusing the company of plagiarizing its product with Instagram Reels. Robby Stein, Instagram’s product director, said that while TikTok popularized the short video format, the two products are different.
“I think TikTok deserves a ton of credit for popularizing formats in this space, and it’s just great work,” Stein told The Verge. “But at the end of the day, no two products are exactly alike, and ours are not either.”
That’s a familiar line to people who remember when Instagram first launched Stories in 2016, and the company was accused of creating a Snapchat clone. Stein said that his team received “very similar feedback when we launched Stories.” But Instagram Stories quickly surpassed Snapchat in daily users and has continued to be a massively successful product. That history of success is one of the strongest reasons for Instagram’s team to think it can pull Reels off. TikTok did it first, but maybe Instagram can do it better.
Part of that strategy is focusing on what Stein believes Instagram does best: creating easy-to-use technology for whoever wants to make a video. When opening Instagram to make a Reel, people will be able to slide to a new section of the camera that comes with an assortment of tools. Reels can be recorded either all at once or as a series of clips, or people can upload videos from their photo gallery. The camera’s new features are similar to TikTok’s, with options to mess with the speed, apply special effects, set a timer, and add audio.
Instagram’s product team is “really positioning Instagram camera around a few core formats,” according to Stein. Stories is designed as more of a social feature — quick little snippets people want to share with their followers. Reels is designed with entertainment in mind, an area that Instagram wants to really focus on. Part of that focus includes the redesign of Instagram’s Explore page. More than 50 percent of people use Instagram’s Explore page in a month, Stein said, and now there’ll be a dedicated hub for Reels. This is essentially Reels’ equivalent of the “For You Page” on TikTok, a place for creators to possibly go viral or find new followers.
“We’re going big with entertainment and [making Explore] the permanent place for you to go lean back, relax, and be inspired every day,” Stein said. “It’s our hope that with this format we have a new chapter of entertainment on Instagram.”
Reels’ biggest difference from TikTok is its tie-ins to the overarching Instagram ecosystem, Stein says. People can send Reels to their friends directly on Instagram and they can use Instagram-specific AR filters and tools — everything that people want to do is part of an existing network.
TikTok and Instagram are more than camera products, though. They’re communities for established and burgeoning creators. Stein said the company’s main goal is to “support the entire creator ecosystem,” including giving creators the ability to scale their reach on the platform and adding new tools to make their videos pop. For now, though, Instagram won’t be paying popular creators for their videos, as TikTok has started to offer.
“TikTok is starting to pay some creators, but Instagram has no plans to pay yet”
Instagram already allows for influencers and creators to earn revenue through brand deals and sponsored posts, but Instagram doesn’t directly pay people for content. TikTok didn’t either until very recently. The company announced last month that it’s starting a $200 million fund in the US to pay top creators for their videos. TikTok is hoping to expand that fund north of $1 billion. The message is simple: we want you to stay on TikTok and create for TikTok, and we’re going to pay you to do it. Stein had “nothing to share” for now about direct payments to creators, but he stressed that allowing people to monetize is important.
There are a few other features that Reels will not have at launch. People won’t be able to “duet” with each other — a core TikTok feature that lets people interact with, build upon, and remix videos. Instagram also won’t allow people to upload songs directly into the app’s system. Musicians looking to use the app as a place to make a song go viral “can add original audio by just recording and that can live on later,” Stein said, adding that “other people could use it and remix it,” but the actual song can’t be uploaded directly.
Reels isn’t its own world like TikTok is or Vine was. It’s another thing to do on Instagram and another way to find entertainment beyond scrolling through Stories and our Feeds. That lack of focus might seem like a weakness, but Stein sees it differently. “I think one of the really fun parts of this,” he says, “is it’s just another format on Instagram.”
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels
Introducing Instagram Reels: a new way to record 15-second clips set to music on Instagram.
If this concept sounds a little familiar, you’re right. Almost everyone is comparing Instagram Reels to TikTok!
So what is Instagram Reels, and how can you use them in your marketing strategy? Find out everything you need to know in our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels:
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a brand new way to create fun and engaging video content from Instagram Stories.
Instagram’s latest video feature is now available in the United States and 50 other countries.
Hellooooo, Reels 🙌
Introducing a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.
Reels is rolling out today to more than 50 countries around the world.
— Instagram (@instagram) August 5, 2020
Similar to TikTok, Instagram users can record and edit together 15-second video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile.
Instagram Reels has its own version of the For You page: the new Reels Explore Feed. You can find the Reels feed on the Instagram Explore Page.
Instead of only seeing Reels from accounts you follow as you scroll, you will see Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.
While the Reels algorithm hasn’t been locked down yet, it feels similar to the TikTok For You page. It’s likely influenced by who you already follow, what content you interact with, and where you’re located.
As you’re scrolling, you may notice some Reels have a “Featured” label above the caption.
According to Instagram, “If your reel is featured in Explore, you’ll receive a notification. Featured reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content we hope will entertain and inspire you.”
And just like TikTok, if you find a song or audio clip you like, you can tap the music and select “Use Audio”.
TIP: Take a peek at the other videos using that audio and see what’s out there. It never hurts to take inspiration and jump on a trend!
Users can also select music from a huge library or use their own audio.
On top of selecting and adding music, there are a number of handy video editing tools to explore. A video countdown timer, the option to adjust your video’s speed, and a library of video effects to choose from.
When creating a Reel, you can choose to film video clips on the spot or upload from your camera roll. Once you’re happy with the clips, you can use the draw and text tools and choose from a selection of Instagram stickers.
Why is Instagram Launching Reels?
If you’re thinking most of the features sound very familiar, that’s no coincidence.
Reels could be considered a direct response to the growing popularity of TikTok — which has surged in popularity over the last 12 months.
TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020, according to Adweek.
And TikTok’s core demographic is rapidly changing. While once dominated by Gen-Z users, Millennials now make up a greater share of TikTok’s user base than ever before — making the platform a much more attractive proposition for advertisers.
According to recent data from Comscore, the percentage of US-based TikTok users aged between 25-34 increased from 22.4% in January to 27.4% in April, while the 18-24 year-old bracket fell from 41.1% to 35.3%.
So it’s no surprise that Instagram is making moves to replicate TikTok’s most popular features — especially in areas where TikTok hasn’t already amassed a strong foothold, like Brazil.
In fact, this isn’t the first time that Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has attempted to launch a TikTok alternative.
Facebook previously launched a short-form standalone app Lasso, but it has failed to take off as yet.
Reels, however, could have a much higher chance of success thanks to its prime positioning in the Instagram app — and all of the exposure and familiarity that comes with it.
IGTV has found its positioning as series-based content, where audiences can tune in to each episode with their favorite brands. But, with Reels, it’s filling the gap of high-quality content that’s still informal, but has longer shelflife than 24 hours.
It’s a more dynamic and creative opportunity to showcase more of your personality and brand.
There are over 1 billion active users already on Instagram — and if we’ve learned anything from the introduction of Instagram Stories, it’s that Instagram knows how to replicate a tried-and-tested format with success.
How to Create Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a new mode in the Instagram Stories camera menu, positioned either between the default Normal mode and Create mode or on the bottom menu next to “Story”.
To access it, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and find the Reels icon.
From this screen, you can select your audio by tapping the music icon:
Choose the speed of your video by pressing the play icon:
Choose how long your clips will be by selecting the stopwatch icon. When you set a timer, there’s a countdown before the recording starts:
Similar to Boomerang mode, you can scroll across to apply effects or AR filters to your Instagram Reels video. You can choose to use any previously saved filters or you can scroll to the end and tap “Browse Effects”.
Either hold down the record button to capture footage or upload video footage from your camera roll.
Much like on TikTok, you can start and stop recording multiple times during your 15-second video by pressing and holding the record button.
Once you’re happy with the result, you can edit your video clips. You can use the draw and text tools and select from a number of Instagram Stickers.
When finished, you can edit the cover photo with a video thumbnail or add a cover from your camera roll.
Now it’s time to share your masterpiece! You can share the Reel to your Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on your profile.
Check out the latest Instagram Reels tab on Instagram profiles — this is where you will see your videos and drafts and where your followers can go to find all of your published Reels.
How to Use Instagram Reels For Business
Instagram Reels is a new way to build your community and grow your reach on Instagram. It’s a fun and engaging way to share viral (and creative!) snippets with your audience.
Even in its early stages, Instagram Reels is proving to be a space where both brands and creators can make waves.
Paris-based photographer Janelle Sweeney of My Paris Portraits has only been using Instagram Reels for a few weeks now and says that she’s already started to see her engagement rise.
If you’re already using Instagram for your business, it may be worth giving Instagram Reels a try. If TikTok’s rise to popularity is anything to go by, it could be worth getting in on the action, and quickly!
Here are three ways you can use Instagram Reels in your marketing strategy:
Instagram Reels for Business #1: Create Authentic Content that Resonates with Your Audience
When Instagram Stories entered the scene in 2016, few could have predicted just how successful the fun and informal ephemeral format would prove to be.
If Instagram Stories is anything to go off of, Reels could be even bigger.
Instagram Reels are designed to be fast and fun and are packed full of special effects that make creating captivating and authentic content seriously easy.
This offers a great opportunity for businesses to show a more human, less picture-perfect side — which can be great for building genuine relationships and strengthening community.
We spoke with Chriselle Lim (“Rich Mom” on TikTok) in our TikTok For Brands Workshop, and she explained to us how many of her Instagram followers didn’t even know she was funny until they saw her on TikTok.
You don’t have to save your personality for other apps, now you can showcase it all on your Instagram. All your followers have to do is slide on over to the new Instagram Reels tab.
And what’s even better? You’ll reach a whole new audience doing so. Your Reels will show up on users’ Explore pages and just like that, they’ll be able to tap the follow button right away.
Instagram Reels for Business
#2: Share Educational Content
Posting educational content is a great place to start — give your followers your top 5 travel tips, teach them how to get the perfect photo, or show them how to style a skirt 5 ways.
Take Paris-based food studio, thesocialfood, for example. They only have a few Instagram Reels but they quickly found their niche: sharing recipes with their products. Check out below how they use Reels to highlight their artisanal hot sauce by using it in a quick recipe.