Instagram just launched its much-awaited feature, Reels, that the company had earlier announced would be its TikTok competitor. The feature has been designed to create and discover short, fun videos on the Instagram app.
With Reels, users can record 15 seconds long clips and edit them with audio, effects, and other creative tools. Users can share reels with their followers on their feed and also make them seen on Explore to reach a wider audience in case of owning a public account. In case of having a private account, people will not be able to share a user's reel with non-followers.
Reels will be found at the bottom of the camera on the Instagram app. On the left side, a variety of tools for editing will be displayed. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips, all at once, or using video uploads form the gallery. Pressing and holding the capture button will get the recording started. A progress indicator at the top of the screen will also be shown while recording.
The tools to create reels include the following:
Audio - Users can search for a song from the app's music library or use their own original audio. The original audio will be attributed to the user which means that if they have a public account, other people can create reels with their audio. With a private account, however, users' original audio will not be used by others.
AR Effects - In Instagram's Effect Gallery, users can discover a number of effects created by Instagram itself and creators all over the globe. Users can then record multiple clips with different effects.
Timer and Countdown - Users can set the timer to record clips hands-free. A '3, 2, 1' countdown will start after pressing record.
Align - This will help to line up objects from the previous clip before recording the next to create seamless transitions in the videos.
Speed - The speed of the video or audio can be controlled with this tool to help stay on a beat or create a slo-mo video.
In order to share a reel, users can save a draft of the reel on the share screen, where they can also change its cover image, add a caption and hashtags, and tag friends. Once the reel is shared, it will appear on a separate Reels tab on user's profile where all of the user's reels can be viewed by their followers. The shared reel will also appear on the main profile grid, but there will be an option provided to remove it. Users can also share their reels on their Stories and in Direct Messages.
Some reels will also have a 'featured' label. If a user's reel is featured in Explore, they will receive a notification about it. Featured reels will be a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help users discover original, entertaining, and inspirational content.
With the new feature of Reels, Instagram aims to allow users to express themselves, discover more content of their choice on the app, and become creators and inspire others as well.