Instagram Reels: Social Media’s Next Big Thing

Aug 18th '20

Instagram has launched the Reels, a new feature to let people create short-form videos set to your own or licensed music.


The rollout of Reels is a direct response to the popular creator app, TikTok, whose future is currently uncertain in many countries. Like TikTok, this feature aims to primarily support creators looking to build a following.


Who should start using Instagram Reels
  • It’s available in many countries, including the U.S, UK, Austral
  • ia, Brazil, and Australia.
  • Any creator or influencer, like artists, dancers, musicians, comedians, or performers.
  • Creators who want to get discovered, early feature adopters on are typically rewarded with amassing a large following


How to use Instagram Reels

Reels is embedded within Instagram. To create a new Reel, open the app’s camera and slide through the video options until you see “Reels.”


You can record a series of 15-second clips, all at once, or upload from your mobile device’s gallery. While recording, you can alter the speed, apply AR effects, set timers, use licensed music, or add your own audio.


Record the first clip by tapping and holding the capture button. Untap to stop recording to end each clip.


Once your Reel is ready, move to the share screen to 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 discover all your reels. You can also share your Reel video on your Feed. You can also share your Reel to public Stories, Close Friends, or Direct Message.


Read Instagram’s announcement on the feature, here.


Key features differences between Instagram Reels and TikTok
  • People won’t be able to “duet” with one another to build on videos, show reactions, or create remixes
  • Musicians can’t directly upload their songs. You have to record your music audio while creating your Reel videos
  • The feature available to an existing 1B+ user base on Instagram, making it easier for creators to do everything within their existing network
  • Instagram won’t be paying popular creators for their videos
  • Reels users can lean on Instagram’s existing library of AR effects to apply effects to their videos


Our view

Facebook, and it’s family of apps like Instagram, have a history of adopting successful features from rising social media competitors. Over time, we sense that creators will wait to compare their follower growth and video engagement levels between TikTok and Instagram Reels to determine the better long-term platform.


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