Here is how to use Instagram Reels

Here is how to use Instagram Reels
Courtesy of Instagram

It’s been about a week since you could have noticed a new feature on Instagram called Reels. Those short videos feature a little video camera icon in the lower-left corner. If you want to give the new Instagram format a try and test it out for yourself, here is how to use Reels on your Instagram.

1. What Are Instagram Reels

In many ways, the functionality of Instagram Reels closely resembles that of TikTok videos. Typically, Reels are 15-second entertaining videos that can be set to music. Like on TikTok, you can combine several 15-second clips into a longer video. Like on TikTok, you can set your Reel to original music, pick a track from a catalogue, or use the music from someone else’s Reel you are currently watching.

Here is how to use Instagram Reels
Courtesy of Instagram

The Instagram Reel feature is currently available in a little over 50 countries and is already being used by numerous Instagram influencers who are always eager to try a new format. With all the uncertainties surrounding TikTok and its potential ban in some countries, Reels is viewed as Instagram’s attempt to lure in the audience from TikTok.

2. How to make an Instagram Reel

1. Download the latest version of the Instagram app on iOS or Android, and open the app.

2. Swipe right to open the Instagram camera, or tap the camera icon in the top left corner.

3. At the bottom of the screen, tap Reels.

4. Tap the record button to film your Reel (the clip must last between 3 and 15 seconds).

5. On the left of the screen, you can explore Reel’s suite of editing tools, including adding audio, text or other effects. Augmented reality effects are an option, too.

6. Post your Reel to your Instagram page or story, or save the Reel to your drafts and keep working on it later.

If a Reel is saved in your drafts, you can find it in the Reels tab on your profile. You can also post your Reel to the Explore page, so any Instagram user can see it. Other Instagram users can like, comment on or save your Reel.

3. Add videos you’ve already filmed to Instagram Reels

If you have a video on your phone that you want to turn into a Reel, here’s how to do it:

1. Open the Instagram app.

2. Swipe right to open the Instagram camera.

3. Choose Reels at the bottom of the screen.

4. Swipe up to pull down your camera roll.

5. Select the video you want and use the trim option if needed.

6. Edit your video by adding audio, text or other effects.

7. Publish the video on your Instagram feed or story, or save it as a draft.

The Reels feature was first tested in India after TikTok was banned there. It was also tested in Brazil, France and Germany.