Instagram's Newest Feature Could Rival TikTok—Here's How to Use It
IG Reels will let you edit and share short video clips in the app.
Move over Tik Tok, Instagram just launched an all-new video feature that’s awfully similar. You may have already noticed celebs like Bachelorette Hannah Brown testing out the feature for a dance video that feels eerily identical to those you’d see on the viral video-sharing platform, but this time, the entire thing was created right within Instagram. Introducing Instagram Reels, a new way to share videos to your IG followers and friends.
What are Reels on Instagram?
Announced via an official Instagram blog post today, Instagram Reels is intended to be “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.” The feature allows you to create 15-second, multi-clip videos right in the app, then share then to your feed or with the larger Instagram community.
The new feature comes amid TikTok's uncertain future after President Trump threatened to shut down the app, which was created in China.
How do you use Instagram Reels?
If you have an iPhone that operates on iOS 12 or later, the app should automatically appear; however, if you need to update your Instagram app in order to access the latest feature, simply navigate to the “Updates” section of the App Store on your phone and tap the Instagram icon.
Once you have the latest version, you’ll be able to start creating. To make an Instagram Reel, you can either record one 15-second video and add effects like music, AR filters, and speed adjustments, or you can record a series of clips one at a time. Additionally, Reels will let you use video uploads from your gallery and piece them together using a tool called Align, which will create seamless transitions from one to the next.
To start, click on the (+) on your profile icon the same way you would to create a Story, then select “Reels” from the bottom menu. Press and hold the capture button to begin recording, keeping an eye on the progress indicator at the top of the screen to see how much time you have left, then use the built-in editing tools to compile to video and upload to your page.
How can you share an Instagram Reel?
Sharing an Instagram Reel is just as easy as sharing a regular post to your feed, but if you have a public Instagram account, you’ll also have the option to share your mini-movie to the Explore page. This means more people within the Instagram community can find it, and you can use hashtags and special effects to help categorize the content for even greater viewership. It's similar to the interface of TikTok, which continually posts new and popular content to users' “For You” page, allowing users to discover new content creators and unique video ideas.
Instagram also says that creators will be able to share Reels videos privately with their friends and followers via direct messages or on their Stories, so there are several ways to share your videos.
How do you watch Instagram Reels?
As they begin to catch on, you’ll likely see Reels pop up in your regular feed from people you follow, but you can also watch them from people you may not follow in the Explore tab. According to Instagram, “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." Plus, if you love a Reel, you can easily like, comment on it, or share it with your friends via direct message.
Can't wait to get started? You can check out the new feature right now. We’re interested to see if this becomes the next big social media trend since automatic face filters became a thing.