How to do the Reels on Instagram
You recently opened the “Explore” section of Instagram and noticed that the top is occupied by a function called “ Reels ”. Taken by curiosity, you decided to take a look inside it and got lost, swipe after swipe, watching short videos very similar to those of TikTok. These contents then started to invade your feed, and now you don’t want to “be outdone”; you’d like to find out how to make a Reel on Instagram, wouldn’t you?
Learning how to use a new social feature can be scary at first. I must say, however, that the one to create the Reels is really intuitive and, if you already know how to use TikTok, you have “the road open”. In any case, do not panic: in the following tutorial I will tell you everything you need to know about this option; you will also learn how to cut short videos, merge them together and customize them with music and filters.
What is and how does a Reel on Instagram
Instagram Reels is an Instagram feature that was introduced in the second half of 2020. Reel means a short 15 second video that you can shoot with the app camera or compose with multiple clips edited together (pre-recorded); you can insert music and special effects, or you can use the original audio.
You can publish a Reel in the stories, where it will remain available for 24 hours, as well as as a post, on the feed or in the “Explore “. The videos published in this way will also be saved in a specific section of the account, with the icon marked by the triangle “Play”.
The views of this type of content ultimately depend on the privacy of the account: if public, the Reel you create can be seen by anyone; if you have a private profile, only approved followers can view it.
Devices compatible with Reels
The Reels function is integrated with Instagram, so you don’t have to download other applications to get it. At the time of writing, it is available in Italy for devices with Android (smartphones and tablets) or iOS (iPhone and iPad) operating systems. However, make sure that the Instagram app is updated to the latest version available (you can check this via the App Store or Google Play).
If you use Instagram from a PC, you should know that, for the moment, it is not you can create or view 15-second videos via Instagram Web or using the IG app for Windows 10.
Now I’ll explain what options you can use to make a truly original Reel on Instagram. In addition to the basic functions, such as those to turn the camera (choosing the front or rear one) and activate the flash, you can insert music, change the speed of the captured frames, insert effects and filters, as well as use the “Timer” or “Align”.
When creating a Reel, you are given the option to add music. To do this you have to click on the “Audio” button (on the left), represented by the symbol of the musical note .
Once you have touched that button, the same window you use will open. to insert a music track in Instagram Stories, and you can choose from the songs “suggested for you” or search for the one you want. Select the verse of your interest to insert it into the movie; so when you press “ Play ” to make the frames move, the song will play in the background as well.
In addition to the music, you can leave the original sound or add the audio of other users to the Reel. To do this, open the video from which you want to take the track, tap the audio in question and tap on the option “ Use audio “.
You can adjust the speed of the video by pressing the “ Speed ” button and selecting the one you want. Swiping right from
1x will speed up the video; while swiping left, the effect will be in slow motion.
As with stories, you can use effects to make your Reels more original, including Instagram’s AR filters. To apply them, tap the “Effects” button (appears on the left) – represented by the icon of a stylized face with stars – and, from the list at the bottom of the screen, select one of those already saved or search for new ones using the “Search Effects” function. Read how to search for Instagram filters for more information.
Once you have chosen the effect, hold down the middle button to shoot the video. The filter or effect will be applied during recording, ie in real time.
With the timer function you can choose the duration of the clip you want to register. Shooting will start automatically after a countdown, so you don’t need to hold down the middle button.
To take advantage of this option, tap the stopwatch icon (left) and scroll on the timeline, in order to set how many seconds the video should last.
The “Align” function appears when you want to merge two or more video clips together. It can be useful for cutting frames and making transitions of one or more scenes.
Once the first few seconds of the movie have been shot, then, you can press the button with the two squares (located on the left) before continuing to record the second part. But remember that the whole Reel cannot exceed 15 seconds .
Reels privacy options
The privacy of the Reels works just like that of Instagram stories. To change some sharing options or decide who can see your short video or not, you must then press on the gear icon after opening the app camera (as if you wanted to load a story) .
From that section, you can hide the Reels from some followers, share them only with close friends, choose whether to allow replies to messages and / or change the saving and sharing options. But be careful : by doing so, you will also change the privacy settings of the stories; I therefore suggest you to read how to hide Instagram stories, in order to understand the possible consequences in more detail.
How to register or upload a Reel with the app Instagram
Now let’s see how to make a Reel on Instagram. The initial operations to be performed are the same as for stories, that is, tap the “ Your story ” button (top left) or the camera icon (always in top left, especially if you need to add more stories to your Instagram feed).
When viewing the rear camera, select the front camera and / or turn on the flash (if applicable), then follow these steps:
- Activate the Reel mode , choosing the related option next to the item “History”;
- The central button will thus show the symbol of a take with the Play button (orange). Long press it to record a video of up to 15 seconds, then release it to stop capturing frames. Alternatively, load a movie from the gallery or from the Camera Roll by pressing the
+key (bottom left);
- When you are ready, tap on the arrow pointing to the right and choose how to share the video, whether in the feed and on your profile (in the appropriate section) or in the stories feed, where it will remain available for 24 hours, after which it will be automatically deleted .
As I explained in the previous paragraphs, you can use Instagram’s Reel mode options to add music, effects or change the frame rate, but only first to start recording.
Please note that if the recorded / uploaded video is less than 15 seconds , you can add other clips, also uploading them from the gallery; on the contrary, if the uploaded (or captured) video exceeds or equals the time limit , to upload other movies you will first have to cut the “excess” frames using the multimedia editor made available (see below how do).
How to trim a Reel on Instagram
Cutting a Reel on Instagram can be useful to fit within the 15 seconds of length of the video, or even to eliminate unimportant frames.
To use cropping in the Reels editor, do this:
- Turn on Reel mode and record or upload a video (as I just showed you);
- While viewing, press the arrow pointing to the left (next to the middle button), then tap the icon some scissors ;
- By moving the indicators at the ends of the timeline (at the bottom of the screen), select which part of the video to keep and which to delete;
- When you have selected the range of frames you want, tap on the “ Cut ” option (top right).
How to add multiple videos to a Reel on Instagram
You can also create a Reel by putting together different video clips:
- If you have uploaded / captured a video of duration less than 15 seconds , you can shoot other scenes by pressing the center button again or ‘upload another video from the gallery or from the Camera Roll , pressing once again the
+key (bottom left);
- If the video is exceeds 15 seconds , to add new “shots” it will be necessary to cut some superfluous parts. Therefore, clip the frames (as I explained earlier), then tap the arrow pointing to the right to add new clips.
Looking at the bar time (top), white segments indicate the start and end of a video clip. Always refer to it to adjust the duration of the scenes, with the help of the “Timer” or “Align” options.
Edit and personalize the Reel on Instagram
As I explained to you in the opening paragraphs, there are various options to modify the Reels on Instagram and make them more special. When you enable the “Reel” mode from the app camera, the multimedia options of the Reels appear on the left that I detailed a little while ago, that is the buttons that allow you to add music, insert filters and change the speed of the movie.
If you want to take advantage of any of these options to personalize your content, you need to tap it – and then enable it – before uploading or recording a video. You can also do it later, by going back, or while recording the second movie, and so on. Choose a song, filter or playback speed you want, then hold down the middle button to start filming or upload from the gallery.
If you want to add stickers (cd stickers), or even texts, emoticons or writings with particular fonts, just press the arrow pointing to the right, as if you wanted to view the captured / uploaded video. By doing so, the Instagram stories editor will open. You will therefore be allowed to apply the same customizations and the same stickers, but you will have to take into account some limitations: in the Reels, it is not possible to use the stickers of the Instagram questions, nor those to make surveys or quizzes; however, it is possible to apply other types of stickers, as well as write on the part of the Reel that has been created. Read how to change the writing of Instagram stories to see a detailed example.
How to share Reels on Instagram
Once created the Reel, which can be composed – as we have seen – from one or more videos in sequence, Instagram gives you the possibility to share:
To publish a Reel , press twice in a row on the white arrow pointing to the right (and located on the right), in order to move to the “ Share ” screen. Here you can choose whether to share the content in the “Reels” section or in the IG stories, add a caption and / or the cover image.
By selecting sharing in “Reels”, your followers will be able to see your video both in their feed and in a specific section of your profile, similar to that of IGTV.