What is Instagram Reels?

What is Instagram Reels?

Reels are a new feature introduced by Instagram that allow you to create short-form vertical videos (9:16)  of up to 60 seconds in length. Users can share their Reels to their Feed, Stories, and Reels explore page. 

If this sounds familiar to you then that’s because Instagram has essentially copied (once again – instagram stories = snapchat) Tik Tok and their style of content creation. There are some slight differences between Reels and Tik Tok that we will go over later in this post.

Instagram Reels are a good way for users and brands to create an engaging experience for their audiences. They allow you to flex your creative muscles by giving you access to a bunch of filters, interactive backgrounds, stickers, captions, and more. Also, Reels have their own tab at the bottom of the app (in the middle) and are heavily featured in the Explore tab. 

When viewing Reels, keep in mind that users will see Reels from all Instagram accounts in the reel tabs. As the user keeps viewing more content, the reel algorithm will tailor content to their preferences. This means that as a business, your content might end up being looped in with your competitors. However, don’t fret because the algorithm is selective in ranking content. So if you create good content you shouldn’t be sweating it. We’ll go over what type of content is favored by the algorithm shortly. 

Reels vs Stories

The main difference between Instagram Reels and Stories is that Stories will disappear after 24 hours. Stories are temporary posts (either video or photos) that are meant to inform and engage audiences;. So using hashtags, polls, and countdowns are valuable tools in Stories.

Think of Stories like Snapchat. Quick updates that disappear when the moment is gone. 

Reels vs Instagram Video

The main difference between Reels and Instagram Video is that Instagram Video is used to post edited, high-quality, videos in long formats (up to 60 minutes in length). Videos on Instagram TV can be posted in their normal 16:9 format versus Reel’s 9:16 format. 

Think of Instagram TV as the YouTube equivalent of Instagram. 

(note: IGTV is no longer a thing since being integrated with Instagram Video)

Reels vs Tik Tok

As we discussed earlier, essentially Reels and Tik Tok are the exact same thing – they provide users with a creative space and tools to be able to create and share short video content with their audiences. However, they have some significant differences. Mainly:

  • Reels is a feature within the Instagram ecosystem, whereas Tik Tok is a platform
  • Reels offer more creative tools, such as AR effects, speed controls, and alignment options for multiple clip videos. 
  • Reels can be featured in Explore. shared to Stories, and posted on your Reel. They will also appear in a dedicated section of your account profile. 
  • Original audio in Reels will be attributed to you if others decide to use it in their reels. 
  • Reels have a time limit of up to 1 minute, opposite to Tik Toks 3 minutes max length
  • Reels that are shared to Stories disappear after 24 hours, whereas all video content remains on Tik Tok

Reels Dimensions

Instagram Reels are a mobile-first format, so that means 9:16 with the recommended 1080 x 1920 pixel size. 

Keep in mind that the bottom fifth of a Reel is where the video caption is displayed. So avoid having important visual elements in this section. 

Algorithm Preferences

The algorithm favours content that:

  • Has high engagement (meaning comments, likes, shares, saves, watch time)
  • Uses Instagram’s creative tools (text, filter, camera effects)
  • Has vertical dimensions
  • Uses music from Instagram music library, or original sound that you create or that is found on Reels

The algorithm does not favor content that is 

  • Blurry due to low resolution
  • Uploaded with a border around them
  • Have the majority of image covered by text
  • Does not meet Instagram’s Community Guidelines
  • Are pirated from other apps (containing logos and watermarks)

Create Reels with LAPSE

We hope this article has been helpful in explaining Instagram’s new Reel feature. If you have any questions or if you want to create your own Reel for your business then reach out to us in the contact form below.

Let’s Create Your Video Today

If you are ready for guaranteed quality, expertise, reliability, and competitive pricing then each out to us for a quote right now.

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