After the TikTok explosion that we saw at the beginning of the year, rumours began to circulate of other social media powerhouses creating their own version of the video app. Quicker than anticipated, Instagram launched its brand new video creating feature. Let us introduce you to... Reels!

What are Instagram Reels?

Reels allows users to create 15-second multi-clip video content that can be shared onto Stories, the Explore Feed, and on the brand new Reels tab on the user’s profile.

Similarly to TikTok, users can record and edit videos along to music or audio, effects, and other creative tools.

some examples of how users are using Reels

How do I create an Instagram Reel?

Where you would normally record or upload an Instagram Story, you will find the option to create Reels at the bottom of the screen. Once you select ‘Reels’ a list of creative editing tools will appear on the left-hand side of your screen:

  • Audio
    You can choose audio from Instagram’s music library or record your own. If you create a Reel with your own audio recording then this will be attributed to your account, and if you have a public account, others can create Reels with your audio.
  • AR Effects
    Instagram and creators from around the globe have built amazing AR effects for users to use in the Reels. Users will be able to
  • Timer & Countdown
    Fairly self-explanatory. Users can set a 3-second timer to prepare themselves and get ‘into position’ before recording their reel.
  • Align
    Reels give the user the opportunity to create multi-clip videos, the align tool allows seamless transitions between clips!
  • Speed
    Users can slow down or speed up their Reels to complement the audio chosen. Slow-mo or super-speed, it’s your choice.

Do we really need another TikTok?

Unfortunately, Reels hasn’t broken the internet as we thought. Since it’s launch last week, all we have seen from Reels so far is reuploaded TikTok videos or influencer marketing content; very few organic content has been made. Experts believe that Instagram is offering too much and users are becoming a little paralysed. We have the original feed, Stories, long-form video content in IGTV, boomerangs, the explore feed... the list goes on. Whereas, when we land in TikTok, we rarely leave the front screen.

However, Reels has only been live for one week. There is still time yet.

Instagram’s debut of Reels has come the same week the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok across the US. The executive orders argue TikTok (another Chinese company, WeChat, has also been banned) will be removed from the US market due to national security concerns. In light of this, there are now whispers of Microsoft or Twitter potentially buying over the app – with the former providing technical support and a more trusted reputation in the States and the latter providing more advertising synergies.

Although we are yet unclear how and if this ban will rollout, US TikTok users are quickly looking for alternatives; making it the perfect time for Reels to step into the fray. Instagram now has a huge opportunity here to engage with the American market, so it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks.

How can I use Reels to elevate my Instagram marketing strategy?

The Instagram algorithm favours users who engage with all aspects of the platform; the more you engage the more Instagram will reward you by showing your posts to more followers – giving you a bigger opportunity to increase your own engagement rates. Posting regularly on your feed, IGTV and Stories, commenting and liking posts, following other accounts, and now creating Reels are a great way to get the most out of your Instagram presence.

Creating Reels is also a great way to build your Instagram community and grow your reach organically. Instagram will see you are actively engaging in their platform and will reward you by showing your posts to more users on the Explore Page. The more people who see your post, the more are likely to follow and engage with you.

For a while now, video content has been the best way to interact with your audience, and so, these short 15-second videos will be a great way to provide fun, behind the scenes content that your audience can engage in.

Social media is an extremely reactive marketing vertical and it’s difficult to keep up, sometimes! But, it’s our job to make sure we are up to date with all the latest social media tricks. We are here to help you navigate the social media landscape; from training to building the right strategy and everything in between. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you with your social media marketing.

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