Instagram’s New Reels Feature Explained | A TikTok Copy?

The widely popular photo, video sharing platform, Instagram has yet again come into the limelight and all for a new cause. The popular socializing platform has come up with a new feature (a copy feature of TikTok) called “Reels” as an element with Instagram’s Stories. The new feature allows Instagram users to create and share short videos on the platform, much like what TikTok is doing currently.

The second most popular socializing platform after Facebook, Instagram has well over a billion monthly active users on the platform. Launched back in October 2010 exclusively for IOS users only and later introduced to the android platform one and half years later in 2012, The app has shown tremendous growth since then. The app allows its users to upload photos and videos on the platform and has the option to use various filters on the process that makes photos and videos look more appealing to the viewers. Hashtags are used to organize the posts on the platform and users have the option to share location information as well. The users decide whether to share the post publicly or within a close circle.

The post shared by users can be watched, liked, commented and shared by other users on the platform. Searches are made easier with the help of tags used on the posts. There is also the option to follow another user on the platform and if that particular user decides to follow you back then you can message, view all their posts on the platform.

Read: Top 21 Instagram features and updates-2019

What Exactly Is Instagram’s Reel?

The all-new Instagram Reels lets users make a 15-second long video clip set to music and share them as Stories on their wall. Much like TikTok, the users can add sound clips to their videos (Reels) either from the sound catalog or borrow it from another user’s videos. Users also have the freedom to create a remix video or make a meme out of other’s videos and share on the platform. These short videos are shared with hashtags and have potential to viral on the platform. You can find them on a new Top Reels section of Explorer.

This new feature is limited to Brazil for the time being and is called “Cenas” and we are expecting a worldwide launce very soon. It is Facebook’s(Instagram’s parent company) initiative to try and outdo TikTok, the now popular short video sharing app. The company launching the app in Brazil is solid proof that Facebook is hoping to extend its market share where TikTok is yet to become viral.

Prior to Instagram launching Reel, Facebook went out and released a new short video sharing app, Lasso, which is yet to prove its worth. The Lasso app that lets users create short videos with music and search for trending videos via Lasso’s hashtag tracking is currently available only in the United States. The app is directly competing against TikTok, the now popular short video sharing app, which has become hugely popular among American teenagers and youths.

Instagram, however, took a different approach and launched Reel as the component of Instagram’s already popular function “Instagram Stories” and has a better chance while competing directly with TikTok. The app’s huge userbase is a plus point when competing with TikTok which is lacking behind when it comes to the total number of users worldwide. The only Chinese socializing app owned by a Chinese tech startup Bytedance, TikTok only has 500 million monthly active users currently. It is currently available in 150 markets and in 75 different languages worldwide. But the app is hugely popular among teenagers and youths worldwide and is soon expected to rival Instagram.

Here’s what Instagram’s director of product management, Robby Stein has to say about TikTok.

“I think Musically before TikTok, and TikTok deserves a ton of credit for popularizing this format.”

Previously, when Instagram ruthlessly copied Shapchat, that saw Snapchat losing its charm and growth and now Instagram is targeting TikTok in the same way. It is yet to see whether Instagram will be able to achieve the same with its new feature “Reel” and stop TikTok from growing vigorously. Or TikTok will counter back and stop Instagram on its path.

How Users Can Use The All-New Instagram Reel Feature

You will find the all-new Reel feature in the Instagram stories section in the shutter modes tray right next to Boomerang and Super-zoom features. While using the all-new Reel feature you will have the option to create a video by adding sound clips from the music library or from another user’s video or without sound at all. If you want to add a sound clip of your choice from someone’s else video, just search for the hashtag on the Explorer section. You can also search for a particular song on the Explorer tab and add it to your own video. The parent company of Instagram, Facebook has an enormous music collection secured from all the major labels and many publishers worldwide.

Unlike Instagram’s original concept of Instagram Stories where the content is only visible for 24 hours, Instagram allows users to add their Reels to their profile’s non-disappearing Highlights so that they show up on the Explore tab even after their 24-hour story expires.

Here’ how you can make your own reel of videos and share it on the platform:

Step 1: Open the Instagram app from your smartphone and tap on the home tap. At the top of the home page, look for the ‘Your story‘ icon and tap to open it.

Step 2: A new “create” page section to add your story will appear. On the shutter mode section, you will see the “CREATE” mode in between the “Live” and “Normal” modes. Now slide it leftwards and you will see the new Reel mode.

Step 3: Tap to activate the Reel mode and now you can record or create multiple short video clips to fill out the Reel. You also can add sound clips to your videos. In order to do so, you can either select a sound clip from the collection or can also borrow the sound clip of other’s videos shared on the platform.

Step 4: You can also add filters and special effects to your videos much like TikTok, also add some hashtags to your Reel for better exposure and when you feel like sharing it, just tap on the share option available and your Reel will be added to your story section. You have the option to share publicly or share within your group only or message to your friends.

The addition of the Reel feature in Instagram’s Stories is a dream come true for Instagrammers who wanted to have something new and exciting on the platform. It is however yet to be seen how other users will react when it is officially launched worldwide and how successful will Instagram be in captivating young energetic creators who have gotten hang of the now popular short video sharing app, TikTok. Also, how TikTok is going to react to the copy feature of Instagram is still a mystery at the moment.

Do comment us with your view on Tiktok and Instagram Feature here below. We would love to hear from our users their part of the story.


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