Last month, Instagram released a new way to create short 15-second videos: Reels. It lets users make fun multi-clip videos with audio and effects to share with followers on the platform. If you’re thinking this sounds like TikTok, you’re right! The two are very similar. Read on to find out how to use Reels and how they could benefit your business.The Instagram algorithm is obsessed with Reels, and sharing a few Reels is an effective way of giving your Instagram content a boost. Plus, you can use existing content ideas through this new format, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
What are the main features of Reels?
- Record and edit 15-second video clips
- Set the video clips to music and use other creative tools to edit them
- Share Reels on your Stories, Explore Feed and the brand new Reels tab
How can I find Reels in the Instagram app?
Reels has its own version of Instagram’s standard ‘For You’ page, which is called the ‘Reels Explore Feed’.
To find this, head to the magnifying glass tab (second one in from the left on the main Instagram app) and then tap the top video on that page, which should be a Reel. It’ll say ‘Reels’ in the corner. Tap that top video and then scroll down through the many, many, many Reels!
Instagram has also said they’re testing a Reels button to go on the main navigation bar, so watch this space!
How do I create a Reel?
Tap on ‘Reels’ at the bottom of the Instagram camera and a range of editing tools will pop up to help you create the Reel. These creative tools include:
You can search for a song you want to use from the Instagram music library or use your own audio by recording a reel with it. If you choose to record your own audio and your account is public, people will be able to make their own Reels using your newly created audio.
Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next one. This helps you create seamless transitions from one Reel to another. For example, if you have your business logo in your first clip, you might want this to be positioned in the same place throughout each 15-second Reel clip you create.
Set the timer to record your Reel hands-free. It will give you a 3, 2, 1 countdown before starting your timer.
Change the speed of your video or audio using this tool. It’s great if you want to make slow motion stuff or need to keep to a beat in the audio track.
Reels can be recorded one at a time or all at once using several 15-second clips one after the other to create a longer video. Record your first clip by holding down the capture button, and you’ll notice a progress indicator at the top of the screen while you’re recording. Stop recording by releasing your finger from the capture button.
When you’ve perfected your Reel and it’s ready to post, you can move onto the share screen. This allows you to save a draft of your Reel (if you feel like it’s not quite ready yet but you don’t want to lose what you’ve done), change the Reel’s cover image, add a caption and a few hashtags, and even tag your friends (this is a good one as it encourages tagged users to share your Reel to their followers too!)
Once you’ve shared your Reel, it will be on the ‘Reels’ tab on your Instagram profile. If you also share it to your Instagram feed, the Reel will appear on your main Instagram profile grid just like a photo would, but you do have the option to tap on it and remove it from that area if you wish.
Who will watch my Reels?
As long as your Instagram account is public, you can share your Reels to the Explore page where it will be discovered by people who don’t follow you, therefore increasing your engagement and (fingers crossed) improving following on Instagram to a wider pool of users. You can share your Reel with your followers by posting it to your normal feed too.
You can also share your Reel to your Instagram Story. If you do, it will behave just like a normal Story so it will disappear after 24 hours. This is an important one to remember as you don’t want to spend ages creating your Reels just for them to be deleted after 24 hours. So try sharing your Reels to your Instagram Story and somewhere else like your Instagram feed or the Explore page.
So get going on Instagram Reels and let us know what you create!
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