06 August 2020 14:45

TikTok Donald Trump ByteDance

Your How-To Guide For Using Instagram's Latest Video Feature, Reels

The short-form video app TikTok has a cool 800 million monthly active users but Instagram is still ahead with its 1 billion+ people that log into the account every month to send stories, post to the feed, and generally lurk online. Now Instagram is coming for TikTok's crown with its own short-form video feature, named Reels which launched this week in the US and UK. Reels has been in the works for over a year, with the platform initially testing the new Instagram feature in Brazil last November. The idea for Reels is a new feature in the app's Camera which will allow you to record 15-second videos, set them to music, add gifs and text and send them out onto the platform in no time. According to Instagram, in the last month, 45 per cent of videos on the feed were 15 seconds or under, so there's a clear demand for this type of content on the platform.

Choose a trending or popular song or your own audio, a handy feature allows you to select the right part of the song you want to play during the video — remember you only have 15 seconds to work with. Just as TikTok has an algorithmic feed, 'For You', the Reels section in Instagram Explore will work in a similar way, serving up videos the platform thinks you'll like depending on the content you engage with, as well as a space for trending and videos chosen by local curators. As part of the launch for the new service, Instagram has reportedly been trying to lure popular TikTok creators over to the new feature, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, even offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. To win over the new generation, the next big feature Instagram is working on for Reels will be creator monetisation, so branded content and the like. Lyons-Liang said the team used Lasso to learn about the types of tools creators wanted and things like trending content, which have all been put to good use in Instagram.

Instagram boasts over 500 million active users every day, and content is shared and consumed in a number of ways – whether it's to workout from home with an Instagram Live, show of your favourite brunch hotspot on Stories or find fashion inspiration on feeds. Instagram Reels is a new way of creating video content on the app whereby you can add effects, music and multiple clips to create short films. The popularity of short-form video has risen thanks to apps like TikTok, and now Instagram is offering users the chance to create quick and entertaining content through the new feature. The videos, which can be up to 15 seconds long, are shared with your friends and followers and also discoverable via the Explore space to other users if your account in public. 'I think of short-form video in very much the same vein – TikTok certainly didn't invent short-form video, I think they've done a lot of really amazing work to make it their own, and I think we've been inspired by that great work, but then want to take that and integrate that into Instagram in a different way.' You'll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen that you can use to create your reel, including Music, AR Effects, Align Tool, Timer and others.

With social media users across the globe captivated by 15-second videos, Instagram has rolled out a new technology to bring these entertaining videos right to the front of our feeds. Eagle-eyed users might find the new feature shares some similarities with TikTok, but the new simple technology makes it easy to share this kind of content with your already loyal Instagram followers. As of 5 Aug., Reels launched in over 50 countries, making editing tools and an array of awesome audio and augmented reality effects available to users. Facebook's latest product launch, Instagram Reels, is targeting users who enjoy sharing TikTok-style short-form videos. In the US, there is still uncertainty about the future of short-form video platform TikTok. At the beginning of the week, US president Donald Trump appeared to approve of Microsoft's potential purchase of the Chinese social media company – as long as the US benefits from the deal.

As pressure mounts for the Chinese app, Facebook has used this opportunity to launch Instagram Reels, a new feature where users can create and discover short, entertaining videos, in a similar manner to TikTok. In a statement, Facebook-owned Instagram described Reels as way to create 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and new creative tools. The short videos can be shared with friends or the wider Instagram community if a user has a public account. To make a Reel, users just select the Reels option at the bottom of the Instagram camera menu, where they will find editing tools, augmented reality effects, a timer, audio and speed options. One major difference between Facebook's new product and competitor TikTok is that the Chinese video-sharing platform allows for videos up to one minute in length. It appears that Reels has many similar features to TikTok, as seen in early reviews of the new tool.

Reviews also suggest that it could be a hit with people who primarily use Instagram and want to keep all their social media activity in one app.