Introducing Instagram Reels: A new way to record 15-second clips set on Instagram.

If you find this concept a little familiar, you are right. Almost everyone compares Instagram Reels to TikTok!

What is Instagram Reels and how does it fit with TikTok? In this blog post you will learn everything you need to know:

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a brand new way to create entertaining and engaging video content from Instagram Stories.

Example of TikTok roles

Instagram via TechCrunch

After the first test in Brazil, the latest Instagram video feature is now being launched in Germany and France.

Similar to Tick ​​tackUsers can record 15-second video clips with music and share them with stories.

Users can choose from a huge music library, borrow audio from another video, or record their own original soundtrack.

There's also a handy video countdown timer and the option to adjust the speed of your video – just like you can Tick ​​tack.

Instagram roles can be shared on Instagram stories, sent directly to specific users, or added to a new Roles tab in a user's profile:

And there's a brand new discovery area in Explore Instagram: Top Reels where the best performing public roles have the chance to go viral.

NOTE: Instagram has not announced when or if Instagram Reels will be launched worldwide. But stay tuned, we will continue to update this blog as we learn more about its global release.

Did you know that you can plan, post and automatically post on Instagram? Later – free of charge!

Why does Instagram start rolling?

If you think most of these features sound very familiar, this is no accident.

Roles can be seen as a direct response to the growing popularity of TikTok, which has become increasingly popular in the past 12 months.

According to TikTok, "most downloads for an app were generated in one quarter" in the first quarter of 2020 Adweek.

TikTok's core demography is changing rapidly. While millennials were once dominated by Gen Z users, they now make up a larger share of the TikTok user base than ever before – making the platform a much more attractive proposition for advertisers.

According to current data from ComscoreThe proportion of US-based TikTok users between the ages of 25 and 34 rose from 22.4% in January to 27.4% in April, while the proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds rose from 41.1% to 35 , 3% fell.

Instagram data

Source: Adweek

So it's no wonder that Instagram is taking steps to replicate TikTok's most popular features – especially in areas where TikTok hasn't yet gained a foothold, such as Brazil.

In fact, this is not the first time that Facebook, Instagram's parent company, is trying to launch a TikTok alternative.

Facebook has previously launched an independent short-form app lasso, but it hasn't started yet.

However, roles could have a much higher chance of success thanks to their first-class positioning in the Instagram app and the associated exposure and familiarity.

There are over 1 billion active users already on Instagram – and if we have learned from the introduction of something Instagram stories In 2013, Instagram knows how to successfully replicate a proven format.

Do you want to optimize your Instagram Stories strategy this year? Take ours Free 45 minute Instagram Stories course to learn how to create beautiful stories and use the latest features.

How to create a video with Instagram roles

Instagram Reels is a new mode in the Instagram Stories camera Menu, either between the standard normal mode and positioned Create Mode or in the lower menu next to "Story".

To access it, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and find the Reels icon.

New Instagram roles

In this screen you can select your audio by tapping the music icon:

Add music to IG Reels

Select the speed of your video by pressing the play icon:

Instagram Reels Timer

Choose how long you want your clips to last by clicking the stopwatch icon. If you set a timer, a countdown will start before the start of the recording:

Instagram Reels Timer

Similar to Boomerang mode, you can scroll to apply effects or AR filters to your Instagram Reels video. You can use previously saved filters or scroll to the end and tap "Search Effects".

Special effects

Press and hold the capture button to capture footage:

Similar to TikTok, you can start and stop recording several times during your 15-second video by holding down the record button.

IG roles

Once you're happy with the result, you can edit the cover photo with a video thumbnail or add a cover picture from your camera roll. You can then save it as a draft, send it to friends, share it with stories, or add it to your Instagram profile.

Upload IG roles

Check out the latest Instagram Roles tab in Instagram profiles. Here you will find your videos and drafts and your followers will find your published videos.

IG rolls tab

Instagram roles are currently only available in Brazil, France and Germany. However, since there are enough video editing features to keep up with TikTok, we expect it to be rolled out to more locations in the future. Stay tuned!

What do you think of Instagram's new reels feature? Take part in the conversation Later Instagram channel.

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Written by

Jillian Warren

Jillian is a content marketer at Later in the UK. She is a lover of London brunch spots and an avid listener to true crime podcasts. You can connect to her on Instagram @ jillwrren.


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