What is Instagram Reels?

In August 2020, Instagram announced its latest feature, Reels, which allows its users to create fun videos to share with friends or anyone on Instagram. Here we explain what this platform allows you to do with your account.

In a similar way to TikTok, with Reels you can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. The Reels are designed to be fast and fun, helping you make creating captivating and authentic content. Facebook, who own Instagram, first started testing Reels with users in Brazil in November, before rolling out in the last few months to France, Germany, and India.

How to create a Reel

To create a Reel, simply select Reels at the bottom of your Instagram camera. You’ll then have the choice to film video clips on the spot or upload content from your camera roll. You’ll also see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your Reel, including: Audio, AR, Timer and Countdown, Align, and Speed. This gives you the ability to add music from the Instagram music library, use different filter effects, and make slow motion videos.

When scrolling through your home feed or Explore page, you’ll be able to tell which posts are Reels clips by a clapboard icon in the bottom-left corner. A new tab will be added to users’ profiles to showcase all their Reels in one place. The tab will live alongside the traditional grid of recent posts, as well as tabs for viewing IGTV videos or videos a user was tagged in.

Are they secure?

Reels adhere to your privacy settings on Instagram. Therefore, if you have a private account you can share to your own feed and only your followers can see your Reel. In addition, 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.

On the other hand, 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. 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 – as is the case when sharing photos publicly.

However, 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 appear on your profile, and it will disappear after 24 hours.

When Instagram Stories entered the scene in 2016, few could have predicted just how successful the fun and informal format would prove to be. If this is anything to go by, Reels could be even bigger.

Will you be posting Reels? Let us know in the comments below, and, if you want to learn about other Instagram features, why not check out these posts too?