SnapChat‘s Stories feature made the platform special when it came out, since content only lived for 24 hours. As users increased by the millions and made Snapchat strong competition for the world’s largest social networks, both Facebook and Instagram released Stories to their respective users in August of 2016 and slowed down Snapchat’s impressive growth.
Fast forward four years later: Instagram taking inspiration from another burgeoning social media platform. Reels is now available on Instagram, and the feature seems to be strongly inspired by TikTok.
Is Instagram intentionally replicating TikTok with the introduction of Reels, or just giving users what they want? Take a look at this information from Instagram about Reels to learn how to use the feature:
HOW TO CREATE REELS ON INSTAGRAM
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.
HOW TO SHARE REELS ON INSTAGRAM
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.
HOW TO WATCH REELS ON 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. 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.