Instagram Reels: everything you need to know

Instagram Reels: everything you need to know

Instagram recently launched Reels , a new way to create and share videos of up to 30 seconds.

If this sounds like a familiar feature and you feel like you’ve seen it somewhere before, you’re not wrong. In fact, Instagram took “cue” (saying copied looks ugly) from TikTok for this function.

But how do the Reels work? What’s the difference with TikTok? How to use them to grow on Instagram?

In this article we analyze the facts a bit by going to discuss all these topics related to Reels .

Instagram Reels
All you need to know about Reels

What are Reels?

Reels are a new type of video content very similar to TikTok .

This function allows you to create, record and edit videos up to a maximum of 30 seconds (currently) with the possibility of inserting music and other effects.

This is obviously a big change for Instagram and for users, who have a new type of content to use to increase engagement of their profile or get more follower .

Instagram has created a special section for Reels, with the icon also present in the main bar of your feed, but you can also find them on the ‘Explore’ page.

Also, just like on TikTok, you can add music to your Reels or select “Use Audio” on a Reel from another profile and use it for your own video.

If you don’t want to use music for your video (there are most of the songs by artists and bands) you can also use the audio of your recorded video.

Note that not all profiles on Instagram have the option to use music in Reels or Stories.

Read also: How to get music on Instagram

There are also numerous effects and tools for editing videos. But if that’s not enough for you, you can use external apps to create your content .

Why did Instagram introduce the Reels?

The answer to this question can only be this:

TikTok’s growth was too high to sit there doing nothing. So what could Zuckerberg do?

Implementing a strategy he had used in the past with stories (which if you didn’t know, were “borrowed” from Snapchat ).

What is this strategy? Obviously copy.

Snapchat was having success with stories, Instagram copied them. What happened to Snapchat?

TikTok was having success with this video format, Instagram copied it. What will happen to TikTok? It is still too early to tell, but this strategy could prove successful again.

TikTok’s algorithm, however, was more benevolent and visibility was much higher than that of its competitors: well, Instagram copied this too.

Read also: How the Instagram algorithm works

Could he ever introduce a copied function with lower visibility than the competitor’s? Of course not, it would never have been successful otherwise.

In fact, Reels are currently a great way to increase Instagram followers .

How to create Reels

Getting started with Reels is very simple.

To register or publish a Reel tap the “+” on the main page of the feed or the one dedicated to your profile and choose “Reel”.

The functions you will find in this screen (besides the button to start recording a video) are:

Duration. You can decide the duration of the video by touching the circle with 15 or 30 seconds on the left side to choose the maximum duration of the Reel.

Music. From this screen you can select the music, if you want of course, to be included in your Reels.

Speed. Choose the speed of your video from 0.3x to 3x. 1x means normal speed.

Effects. You can insert available effects and filters to add to your Reels and create something fun and creative.

Timer. You can enter a timer of 3 or 10 seconds, time before the smartphone starts recording the video. Very useful if you need to record the video from afar and get into position.

You can edit, cut or delete clips and parts of them directly in the Reel section of Instagram and use the various tools available or add text.

After editing, load your Reel and choose a thumbnail that attracts attention, in order to increase the views.

Read also: How to increase the views of stories on Instagram

Then you can decide to share your Reel only in Explore and not on your feed (the Reel will still be seen in your profile, but in the section dedicated to Reels), or share it also on your feed.

Want to know a little trick?

“Sure Francè, I’m here on purpose!”.

If you share a Reel on your profile but don’t want to keep it in your feed posts, you can upload it and then remove it from the profile grid using the 3 dots at the top of the post. Your followers who haven’t seen the Reel on the feed yet will see it anyway. This strategy is especially useful if you work a lot on the graphics of your posts and try to keep your feed curated with a particular color or filters.

If you prefer, instead, to edit with external apps in this article I recommend the applications that can do for you .

How to use the Reels

As mentioned before, Reels are currently a great way to get more followers and engagement thanks to their high visibility.

So how do you use the Reels?

This content was made to be consumed in seconds by people who are spending time on the platform for fun or curiosity.

Create content for your target

Reels have the potential to go viral, but the content should always be for your target audience. Attracting people not targeted with your profile will only penalize them, as they won’t be interested in your posts.

You can show behind the scenes of your work in a fun way, share tips or some curiosities related to your topic.

Share educational and valuable content

Educational content is best if you want to build a community and get following.

Lists, for example, work great in any case and for any niche.

An example could be this: “5 rules for making a perfect carbonara” , specifying that cream should NOT be used. 🙂

In short, things like this always attract the attention of users and if done right you can get a lot of followers.

Advertise your products

Reels can also be used to advertise your products.

If you have a brand or an ecommerce where you sell clothing or other products, you could create a video where you highlight your items.

Reels also end up in Explore, which means that an audience that doesn’t know you will see your products and may decide to make a purchase.

The key is always the same: capturing the attention of users.

Only in this way can you get good results and increase the views of your Reels.

What NOT to publish on Reels

Instagram recently said that Reeks recycled by TikTok or other external apps will be penalized with a reduction in visibility.

Instagram has therefore announced the new “rules” to keep in mind and to avoid penalties they will have to:

  • Be in portrait format
  • Include music from your Instagram library, original sounds or audio
  • Be fun or entertaining

While they should NOT:

  • Having a logo of other external apps like TikTok
  • Having too much text
  • Having borders
  • Being blurry

But what to do if you’ve already posted videos on TikTok and want also publish them on Reels?

You simply need to publish the original video file recorded prior to publishing on TikTok.

“Eh Francè, I deleted the videos from my smartphone… how do I do it?”.

I have the solution to this problem too: go to TikTok and copy the link of your video by pressing the “Share” button and then “Copy link”, then go to and paste the link in the space provided to download the video without the logo.

This way you will be able to publish your videos on Reels without risk of penalties.


Well, we’ve seen everything there is to know about the Reels. Will you use them?

Do you think that even in this case Instagram manages to get the better of TikTok as it has already happened with Snapchat in the past? Let me know in the comments.

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