Learn more about Instagram Reels

Author: Simone Pedersen

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In the summer of 2020, Instagram launched their brand new video feature Instagram Reels. Get an introduction to what Instagram Reels is and how the feature tries to create a universe similar to TikTok.

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Instagram Reels use a new, short video format

Instagram Reels use a 15 to 30-second video format that has been compared to the rapidly growing media TikTok which is exclusively video-based. Instagram previously developed IGTV, which is also a video format. The difference between IGTV and Instagram Reels is to a large extent, the length of the videos. IGTV can be up to 60 seconds long, while Instagram Reels has a limit of 30 seconds. Due to the short video format, Instagram Reels are best suited for compressed messages that allow quick transitions and short sequences of effects and music.

Is Instagram the new TikTok?

It is especially the short video format that makes Instagram Reels similar to TikToks user-generated videos, which are based on the same features. Here it is worth mentioning that in the approximately six months that Instagram Reels has been available, many choose to simply “repost” finished videos from TikTok instead of using the Instagram Reels editing feature directly in the Instagram app. This can be seen because many Instagram Reels videos bear the TikTok watermark, which is automatically imposed when you save videos from TikTok.

Can you see the similarities between Instagram Reels’ editing layout and TikToks editing layout in the image below?

Instagram Reels makes it easier for users and businesses to be found

One of the benefits of using Instagram Reels is the organic sharing value it has compared to IGTV. When an Instagram Reels is posted, the video is automatically shared on the Explore page. Explore is a tab in the Instagram app, which consists of a grid of photos and videos, and Instagram describes explore as ‘a place where people can find content, shop and connect with creators and companies.’ Explore is based on and tailored to the interests of the individual user, so whether an Instagram Reels spread in explore will depend on the relevance of the video to the users.

Again, parallels can be drawn to TikTok, which instead of Explore has a “For You” page, which is a tab with video suggestions designed for each individual user based on what content you have previously interacted with, liked, who you follow and other similar factors.

Do you want to get started with Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels will provide new opportunities for both users and businesses. This will require that you know your target audience well, in order to create content that resonates with the desired users. Take a look at our blog post on “How to Use Instagram Reels” and get started!