• M. Lloyd, Social Light

NEW INSTAGRAM FEATURE: Instagram Reels

Instagram has launched their latest feature right in the app: Instagram Reels. Think TikTok on Instagram.


Instagram is at it again.


With TikTok being an app where creativity is unlimited, is its future limited? Where can TikTok go? What happens if it changes hands? How can it expand? Those working behind the scenes at TikTok may be the only ones who have those answers, but Instagram is barging in with their latest feature: the similar-to-TikTok experience called Reels.


Let’s break down this latest Instagram feature and learn about what it could mean for the future of Instagram, content creation, brand promotion, the TikTok app, and more.



So What Is Reels?

In their latest blog post, Instagram says about Reels, “Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.

Similarities between Reels and TikTok:

  • The timer: you are able to time-out sound to the length of your video

  • Clip editing: ability to shorten a clip to desired length

  • Text: a variety of font styles and are able to time your text

  • Gaining followers: you can receive views from your followers & the Explore/For You page

  • Sound: you can use other peoples “sounds”


Differences between Reels and TikTok:

  • Music: In Reels, there seems to be more music options. Adding music to your Reels video is similar to how you’d add music to your Instagram story post

  • Effects: the filters with Reels, and other creative effects, are more unique, diverse, and on-trend

  • Timing: one downside to Reels is that you can only create 15-second clips, maximum. With TikTok, you can create up to 60 seconds

  • Alignment: Instagram actually had an alignment feature to make lining up transitions easier!

How To Use Reels

Let’s take this step-by-step. When you open Instagram, it immediately shows you your feed. All you’ll do is slide from the left side of your screen to your right - you’ll have accessed your Instagram camera. From there, you have the option for how you want to create: Live, Story, Reel. Tap and Reel and get creative!

You’ll have to play around with the Reels features that Instagram offers to truly learn how to create your content, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be off and running! Don't worry...we'll be back with another blog showing you how to use Reels and updating you with more information.


How Reels Could Benefit Social Media

While it’s only been 1 day that Reels has been available to the public, we have some predictions on how this could change the landscape of social media, specifically among influencers, content creators, and marketers:

  • Reels could allow creators to become more discoverable. Like TikTok, Reels has their own version of a “For You” page (which they call their “Explore” page). Anyone could show up on there!

  • With Instagram being one of the largest influencer platforms out there, we’re predicting brands taking advantage of Influencer marketing through Reels. After all...if anyone can be discovered on the Explore page, that means any product could be discovered.

Instagram is an ever-changing platform with an ever-changing algorithm. Given how new Reels is, we aren’t entirely sure what this means for the algorithm but you best believe we’re keeping an eye on it!


Stay tuned as Social Light plays around with this new platform! Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on everything we learn about Reels.