Even in a year as unpredictable as 2020, Instagram is still…Reels. Reels is essentially Instagram’s answer to TikTok. While there are a lot of similarities between the two, there’s a lot of questions on how Reels works that could send the mind…well..reeling! Let’s get this reel rolling:
The Deal on Reels:
How To Access Reels:
- Access Reels like you would Instagram Stories/Live by swiping right to access your camera
- Along the bottom Reels will be listed
- Once in Reels you can either film within Instagram or upload from your camera roll
When creating your Reel, you’ll find a list of options along the left hand side of the record screen:
- Music Note: Here is where you can search the music catalog on Instagram
- Play Button: Choose to record in real time, slow mo, or double time
- Smiley Face: Opens up the Effects menu – you can choose from AR effects you would use in Stories
- Clock: Set a timer up to 15 seconds
How To Post a Reel:
- Record or upload your footage with all sounds and effects you like and tap the next arrow
- Add any stickers, text, or drawings you desire and tap the next arrow
- Add your caption, share to stories, and choose whether or not to share to your Instagram feed – this is also where you can save your creation as a draft
Where Do Reels Live:
With integrating Reels into the Instagram platform, there’s many places where your Reel can appear:
- IG Feed: As mentioned above, when posting a Reel you can choose to share it to your Instagram feed like a regular post, this post will also be visible on your Instagram Profile Gallery
- Reels Tab on your Profile: Once you post a Reel, a Reels icon will appear on your profile along with IGTV, tagged photos, etc. where users can view all your Reels content.
- Explore Page: Instagram is dedicating a lot of Explore to Reels. The Explore page now kicks off with a trailer section dedicated to Reels a viewer may like to see. As you scroll down the page there are more opportunities to view Reels as well.
- Hashtag Pages: When you use a hashtag in your caption, your Reel will appear on on the page for that hashtag.
But what’s Reel(y) Different From TikTok?
While there is a lot the two have in common, here are some key differences to keep in mind with Reels:
- You cannot save/favorite sounds for later use
- There is no Trending Sounds portion like on TikTok
- There is no Discover page type functionality for Reels
- Reels have a 15 second time limit vs TikTok (can be up to 60 seconds)
- No duet functionality on Reels as of yet
- Reels lets you use any part of a song
Commonly Asked Questions:
Can I upload content from my TikTok to Reels?
Yes, many users have been uploading their more popular TikTok content to get started on Reels. We will note that if you are uploading this way, and your video has a song on it, the song sound will not show up on Reels, it will be listed as an original sound.
Will it be easier as a music artist to get verified on Instagram?
No, this process will remain the same. If you’re looking to become verified you can submit every 30 days for consideration. Also as a reminder, you can utilize the Instagram Story Swipe Up feature once you reach 10k followers.
Can I submit for a music tab to be added to my profile like on TikTok?
Currently this is not a functionality that is rolling out on Reels.
Can I see how many people are using my song?
Yes! You can not currently see this information on the sounds page, but if you tap the sound from a Reel using your sound you can view on the sound page how many people are using your song.
Some artists have their music connected to their Instagram account but mine is not, how do I fix this?
Instagram is running in the background trying to automatically match up tracks to the artist’s official Instagram account. If you are seeing your track is not connected to your Instagram account, let your Label or Project Manager know and they can help get this sorted.
I’m not seeing music available:
Some business accounts have been reporting they do not have use of the music functionality on Reels. If you are a business account, consider switching to a creator account to gain access to music and still receive analytics.
What Are We Seeing Thus Far:
Instagram is putting a big focus and push behind Reels, so we’re seeing great engagement on these posts. If you want to take advantage of this feature, be sure to hop on for that first mover advantage. As far as content, so far we’re seeing a lot of repurposed TikTok content, along with some fresh pieces. The fresh content we’re seeing is much more tailored than the content you typically see on TikTok, because in nature Instagram tends to be more idealistic and curated. We’re seeing a lot of trends in fashion, makeup, home decor, and fitness. Along with these trends we’re seeing more negative comments appear than you typically see in TikTok, most likely due to the fact that some of this content feels inauthentic or too pristine in comparison to TikTok’s communal feeling of a place for everyone.