Instagram launches Reels, its answer to TikTok

Users can now record, collage and edit up to 15-second video clips to show “the best of trending culture on Instagram.”

7 August 2020

Earlier this week (5 August 2020), Instagram launched a new strand of its popular image sharing platform, Instagram Reels. A new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on the platform, Reels invites Instagram users to share up to 15-second video clips. Users can record and edit multi-clips with audio, effects and new creative tools which can then be shared with followers on an Instagram feed. The videos can also be shared with the wider Instagram community if the user has a public account.

Hoping to reach new audiences on a global stage, Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Similarly to how Instagram’s Stories mirrored Snapchat, Reels’ ability to collage fragments of sound and edited videos feels a lot like TikTok. Instagram has created a new Explore page dedicated to Reels where users can browse through other videos, aiming to show “the best of trending culture on Instagram,” says the platform on its website.

Reels’ features include AR effects, where users can select an effect from a wide-ranging gallery created by both Instagram itself and individual creators. Users can then record multiple clips with different effects all in one Reel. Align is another feature now available to use. It helps users seamlessly transition for clips dedicated to outfit changes for example, or adding in multiple friends into a clip. Other features include audio provided by Instagram’s music library, timer and countdown, and speed functions to slow down or speed up videos.

Instagram states: “Reels give people new ways to express themselves, discover more of what they love on Instagram, and help anyone with the ambition of becoming a creator take centre stage.”

GalleryInstagram Reels via Instagram

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Instagram Reels via Instagram

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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