Instagram officially launches Reels – its TikTok competitor feature

Anne Freier | August 7, 2020

App Business

Though we’ve known Reels was coming to Instagram for quite some time now, the popular photo app this week officially unveiled the new feature.

In an introductory blog post, Instagram described Reels as a way to create and share fun videos with friends.

Touted as a TikTok competitor, Reels lets users create 15-second video clips edited together from multiple clips. Users can also add music from a sound library Instagram provides.

Much like on TikTok, the new addition provides fun effects and creative tools.

Reels can be shared privately with friends or within Stories, but also made public via the Explore section for a wider audience.

Using the feature is simple: launch the camera and select from a range of editing tools including Audio, AR Effects, Timer and Countdown, Align and Speed.

The tool makes for a great addition for creators and with Instagram being a dominant platform for influencers, the roll-out comes at a great time.

Public account users can share their reels to the Explore section to be discovered by the Instagram community. But they are also discoverable via their tags, chosen song and effect. In other words, when a user searches and clicks on a specific track they can see Reels using these songs.

Reels are also fully customisable in terms of hashtags, captions, cover images and friend tags.

Instagram said it will be featuring some Reels that stand out. If a Reel is featured, the user will receive a notification.

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