- Instagram Reels is a new feature on the Instagram platform that gives anyone the tools to make a short-form video.
- This feature can be seen as a way to thwart the growth of TikTok and take over a user base need depending on TikTok’s future.
- Creating videos for Instagram Reels is surprisingly easy, but it takes true video production skills to master the craft.
One of the most recent parries in this battle for social media supremacy is Instagram Reels. This function has given rise to creative productions housed within the Instagram app and is part of the company’s continuing push into short-form video content.
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram introduced its Reels feature to most of its users in the latter half of 2020. At the time, it was regarded as Instagram’s attempt to mimic TikTok’s main feature and provide an easier pathway to create similar content on Instagram.
It should be noted that this isn’t Instagram’s first attempt to mimic a competitor’s features. Instagram Stories launched in 2016 as a way to fend off Snapchat’s encroachment into Instagram’s image-based social media space. Like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories allowed users to create a compilation of videos and photos that disappeared within 24 hours of posting. Users could also embed stickers, GIFs, polls, music, and chat sessions within their Instagram Stories. As of early 2021, 500 million people use Instagram Stories daily.
Instagram Reels is similar to Stories. In fact, within the Instagram app, you’ll access the Reels camera the same way as you would for Stories.
However, there are also some significant differences. The core function of Instagram Reels is to film a short-form video that ranges from 3 to 15 seconds. The video is shot in portrait mode that’s ideal for viewing on a mobile device. Furthermore, you can only post Instagram Reels from the mobile app.
Instagram makes it pretty easy to identify when a post is part of the Instagram Reels feature. When you scroll through your feed, you’ll see a video icon in the lower-left corner of the video. When you look at someone else’s profile, you’ll see a similar icon on the upper right corner of a post.
Additionally, you can click on the Reels tab when viewing someone’s profile to see all of their Instagram Reels. You’ll also Instagram Reels on the Explore page too.
Why Is Instagram Reels Important?
There are several reasons that Instagram Reels is important to the social media world. The first is that the feature was promoted at a time when the future of TikTok was very much in doubt. The United States government banned TikTok, and a deal was made to sell the app to Oracle. However, with a new administration in office, the state of TikTok’s ban is in flux.
The Reels video platform also gives Instagram another tool that aligns with its core proposition to users: that intuitive technology makes it easy for anyone to make a high-quality video. While Stories provides social interaction for users, Reels is more of a content creation ecosystem. Instagram reels will give content creators access to more viewers, thus increasing their videos’ odds of going viral.
This, of course, also gives content creators the ability to turn their hobby or side hustle into a burgeoning career. Instagram allows creators to earn revenue through deals with brands and sponsored content.
However, it’s not the individual that benefits from this new function. Businesses of all types can utilize Instagram Reels to highlight their products and services or even give a behind-the-scenes peek at their staff. This helps build closer relationships with their customers, which can then help build brand loyalty.
What Are the Business Uses for Instagram Reels?
The possible business or brand uses for Instagram Reels are endless. This feature makes it easy for brands to provide tutorials, inside glimpses into how the company works, and quick get-to-know-you videos of staff and employees. You can also utilize Instagram Reels to lean into viral video content, like lip syncs or dances.
For specific industries, there is a natural fit with the benefits of Reels. Clothing boutiques or fashion lines can show off new styles and clothes. A quick video can have one model show off several outfits, or various models wear the same one. You can also provide sketches of new design concepts or other peaks behind the curtain of the creative process.
Businesses that sell some-assembly-required products can use a video to show the stages of creation or how your customers have used their creativity to turn the product into something completely new. Assembly races or other fast-motion competitions can make it easy for customers to see the whole process.
If your business model is service-oriented, a video showing your team at work can help connect customers to your staff and employees. You can also show off unique staff members to help attach an individual style to your brand.
What Are the Basics of Creating Instagram Reels?
Once you’re ready to create, swipe right from your home feed to access the Stories camera. From there, select Reels on the bottom of the screen.
You have two options for recording. You can do it through the Instagram app itself or by uploading a video from your phone.
You should know that you currently have to select your creative effects before recording. The current interface doesn’t allow you to add effects after the recording.
If you’re using an Instagram business profile, you’ll have three creative effect options on the left hand of the screen. From top to bottom, they are speed, effects, and timer. Personal accounts and creator profiles also have the option to add music to their video.
The speed option lets you record in regular speed or slow or fast-motion. The effects option will allow you to scroll through filter options. These options are located near the record button at the bottom of the screen. The timer option allows you to set a time for recording. This helps if you need to do a hands-free recording.
Once everything is set up, just press the large record button to start the recording. You can record multiple videos as well as edit or delete clips to make sure everything fits within the 15-second limit.
How Can You Produce Professional-Level Social Media Videos?
Posting on the Instagram Reels platform is easy. Producing a professional quality video is hard. At the Media Schools, located in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami, we offer classes in video production that can help launch your career in social media content creation. To find it if a media career is right for you, take our online quiz.