How to use Instagram Reels

Facebook-owned Instagram recently released a new video feature that allows users to record 15-second clips set to music. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s Instagram’s answer to TikTok

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is the brand new way to create short, fun and engaging videos from Instagram Stories. Reels allows you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and other new creative tools. You can share reels with your audience on your feed, and if your account is public, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. 

How to create a Reel

instagram-reels- legendary social media vancouverSelect Reels at the bottom of your Instagram Camera. Once you’ve selected Reels, a variety of creative editing tools will appear on the left side of your screen to help you create your Reel. These include the following: 

  • Audio: Search and use a song from Instagram’s music library. Alternatively, you can use your own original music or audio by simply recording a Reel with it, which will then be attributed to you. If your account is public, people can create Reels using your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your Reel.
  • AR effects: Choose from a variety of effects (similar to filters) to apply to your video clip. 
  • Speed: You have the ability to speed up or slow down the pace of your video or even just sections of the video. 
  • Timer and Countdown: Set the timer and record your clips hands-free. Once you press record, a three-two-one countdown timer will appear on your screen. In your timer, select how long you want your clip to be (maximum fifteen seconds).

How to share Reels

With Reels, not only can you share with your followers but you have the opportunity to be discovered by a larger, diverse community on Instagram’s Explore page. A great way to reach a wider audience! 

  • If you have a private account: Your privacy setting will be applied to your Reels. You can share your Reel to your feed which allows only your followers to view. Users will not be able to access or use your original audio and people cannot share your Reels with other users who don’t follow you. 
  • If you have a public account: You can share your Reel to a dedicated space in Explore, where it has the potential to be viewed by a larger Instagram audience. You can also share your Reel with your followers by posting to your Feed. By featuring certain songs, hashtags or effects, your Reel could appear on a dedicated page if a user clicks on that particular song/hashtag/effect. And of course, if you’re public, your Reel can be shared with other users and posted to their Stories. 

Once you have recorded your Reel and you’re ready to share, 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 have shared your Reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on your profile. Similar to Instagram Stories, your Reel will disappear from your profile in 24 hours. 

Watching Reels

As we’ve mentioned throughout this blog, Reels has its own version of For You page: the new Reels Explore Feed. This feature is similar to TikTok: not only will you see Reels from people you follow, but you will see Reels from popular or trending accounts on Instagram. So far, we’ve observed that this is influenced by your likes/interests and where you’re located. 

Final Thoughts

Reels is still very new and we expect there will be further developments in the Reels feature in the near future. Stay up to date with all things Instagram and Facebook related by following us on Facebook!

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Erin is the owner and founder of Legendary Social Media. She's trying, and failing, to be vegan. Directionally challenged. Cripplingly addicted to coffee and chocolate. Swears she'll travel the world (again) ... someday. Mommy to Zylo.