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What Is Instagram Reels And How Does It Work?

Mark Zuckerberg goes for TikTok. He bought Instagram and WhatsApp, but Snapchat got away. His reaction was clear: he copied the snaps in the form of Instagram Stories. Won.

Will you achieve the same with Reels? Will it cripple the rising power of TikTok?

Time will tell, while here I tell you everything about Instagram Reels: what they are, how they work, how to create them, where you can see them, and how to share them.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are short 15-second videos where you can add audio, effects, and creative tools.

Yes, they are a clear copy of TikTok so if you know how TikTok works, it will be very easy for you to be a Reels user.

Video credits: Josh Constine

If you are new to these types of videos, you should know that they are usually fun or educational videos but very, very creative. Editing is very important in this type of short video.

Reels appear in the feed if you decide to share them with your followers. Also, if you have an open and public account, you can appear in a new section in the Explore tab.

Also see:

Why use Instagram Reels?

Not sure if the Reels are for your brand? These short and creative videos can help you a lot, and here’s how:

  • Increase traffic to your website, be it a blog, an online store, or a medium.
  • Reach a new audience: you will appear in the new icon at the bottom so that more people and new users discover you who may never have met you.
  • Get more engagement. Being a novelty there are more people watching than creating videos. Also, Instagram is getting more reach for you to make more video reels.
  • Connect with your community: by being more creative, short, and humanized videos with your image, they bring you closer to your audience.
  • Instagram is not going to give up on Reels as it seems it has done with IGTV. There will be more and more news so using this new functionality will give you many benefits.

How to create Instagram Reels?

Have you decided to create your own Reels? Let’s go there!

Open the stories function on Instagram and select Reels at the bottom of the camera (next to Superzoom, Layout, Hands-free…).

It will be then when you see different creative options on the left side of the screen, which will allow you to create your Reel:

  • Audio: Here you can search for songs in the Instagram music library. You can also record the video with your own original audio. If you share a Reel with original audio, you will be tagged as its author so that other users can create videos with the audio.
  • Speed: you can speed up or slow down part of the video/audio you select or create slow-motion videos.
  • Timer and Countdown: This is helpful. Use the timer to record clips hands-free. Once you press to record, you will see the 3, 2, 1 countdown before recording begins.
  • Augmented Reality Effects: To record multiple clips with different effects, select an effect from the gallery, both those developed by Instagram and independent creators.
  • Alignment: Align the objects in your previous clips before recording the next one. This way you can create smoother transitions of different moments, such as when changing clothes.

You can create the reels by recording them in a sequence of clips, all together or by choosing videos from your gallery.

To record the first clip, press and hold the capture button. You will see how the progress indicator progresses at the top of the screen. Release pressing to end each clip.

How Instagram Reels works?

To reach many more people with your Reels, Instagram offers you several places where you can share your new videos.

If you have a public account:

  • You can share your Reel in a new tab in the Explore section for the entire Instagram community to discover.
  • You can also post it on your profile to share it with your followers.
  • When you share Reels that include songs, hashtags, or effects, your Reel can appear on the pages of that song, that hashtag, or effect for users who search for that item to discover it.

If you have a private account:

  • Reels respect privacy so if you share a Reel on your feed, only your followers will see it. People will not be able to use the original audio of your Reels nor will they be able to share them with other accounts that do not follow you.

How to share Reels on Instagram?

When you have your Reel ready, go to the sharing screen where you can save a draft, add text, change the cover image, tag other accounts, and add hashtags.

Once you share your video on Reels, it will be included in the new Reels tab that will appear on your profile.

If you also share it on your feed, your Reel will appear alongside your regular posts. Remember that you can delete it whenever you want.

Another option is to publish it as a story. Then it won’t appear in your feed or the Explore tab. It will have the same conditions as an Instagram Stories story: it lasts 24 hours.

Where to see the Instagram Reels?

The Explore section of Instagram is going to be greatly enhanced with the new Reels. It will be there where you can discover funny Reels from any Instagram user. You will see it in a vertical format (same as TikTok).

You can comment, like, and share any Reels that you like.

If you see any Reel video with the Featured tag, it is because the Instagram team has selected it as the best. If a Reel of yours is chosen as featured, they notify you with a notification.

If you are one of the first to make Reels, you will have more opportunities and a greater range.

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