Feature Announcement: Instagram Reels

Instagram is known to be the social media platform that literally has it all.

If there was something missing, it’s only a matter of time before they introduce a new feature to share the spotlight with a competing social app. Welcome to the big leagues, Instagram Reels.

Three phones aligned side-by-side to display the different features of Instagram Reels.Wait… This reminds me of TikTok.

You’re not wrong. TikTok has taken the 13-24 year old demographic by storm, and it’s the fastest growing app of 2020. If you don’t know already, TikTok is a platform where users spend uninterrupted time scrolling through hundreds of videos (maybe even thousands…depends on how much time they have on their hands). And even though we just shared a six-part TikTok blog series (start here) explaining the ins-and-outs of the platform, it’s time to explore Instagram Reels

Let’s not forget about the time Instagram successfully copied the Snapchat Stories feature to create Instagram Stories. While Reels is Instagram’s newest video feature to keep their users on their app and off of TikTok, we’ll see if this will be another winning game of copycat for Instagram! 

How does it work?

Reels are 15-second multi-clip videos that can include audio, effects, and other new creative tools. These Reels are displayed in your followers’ feeds, potentially Instagram’s Explore page, and they’re saved to a tab on your profile, similar to IGTV.

To create Reels, open the newest version of the Instagram app, and swipe right on the homepage to open the Instagram camera. Tap Reels on the bottom of your screen and begin! (Don’t worry if the feature isn’t available yet on your phone. Instagram is rolling it out as we speak!)

Similar to TikTok, you’ll see various editing tools, including Audio, AR Effects, Timer and Countdown, Align, and Speed. Also, Reels can be recorded in the app or uploaded from your phone.

How can my brand start using it?

First step: strategize. A new feature presents the opportunity to make it your own and experiment to see what works. Decide your brand’s approach and dive in.

If your brand has a library of videos that are on social media, start there! These videos should already align with your marketing strategy. Consider repurposing Instagram Stories that showcase your brand’s day-to-day content. You could also bring back some #tbt-worthy videos from Facebook. You can cut anything down to 15 seconds to make your content Reels-approved. Make sure to utilize the editing tools to add interesting effects. Maybe speed up an extra-long clip or add a trending sound. And don’t forget to consider the authenticity that viewers crave.


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We’ll be spending the rest of the day sharing the news with our clients and playing around with the fun new feature. Maybe later we’ll start working on creating strategies for Reels to showcase our client’s video content in a brand new way.

Give us a shout if you want in on the strategy planning for Instagram Reels!