After initial tests in several countries and a release in India, Instagram Reels has now been rolled out globally. The new feature is often referred to as the “TikTok” clone, and Instagram’s timing is perfect considering the uncertain future of TikTok in the US.
Reels lets you record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and all kinds of creative tools. You can share these videos, or “reels,” with your followers on Feed. If your account is public, Instagram also lets you showcase them to a wider Instagram audience through a new space in Explore.
So, how do you shoot a reel? What does it look like? Instagram shares an explanation on its blog:
- Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.
- AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in our effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, to record multiple clips with different effects.
- Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
- Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends into your reel.
- Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow motion videos.
- Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery. Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.
Instagram first tested Reels in Germany, Brazil, and France. Last month, it was officially released in India, conveniently enough – right after TikTok was banned in this country. As for TikTok’s fate in the US, the Trump administration considers banning the Chinese-owned app entirely. Alternatively, they will reportedly force TikTok to sell off its U.S. operations. Either way, TikTok doesn’t seem to be welcome in more than just one country… And Instagram seems to have chosen the ideal timing to offer a replacement.