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What’s the deal with the new Instagram Reels App?

The emergence of TikTok has changed the game for content creators and just when you were starting to get comfortable, news of Facebook’s version of TikTok could give you yet another option to create branded content. The social media giant has recently launched Instagram Reels, a video platform that will let users create short, interactive clips set to music.

Sound familiar? The app is quite similar to TikTok, which has influenced a generation of smartphone users and social media enthusiasts to create content for entertainment value and monetary gain.

Like TikTok, the app has a ton of video editing features that will allow you to leverage your brand and connect with new audiences. What’s more, you’ll be able to connect with Instagram’s main app platform, which will allow users to share their edited videos to their stories and the ‘Explore Tab’. The move will allow users to centralize their content in one platform. If your Instagram account is public, the video can appear on the app's Explore section. Users will also be able to post edited Reels on their profiles.

But does it compare to TikTok? The app gained popularity because of its customizable modes. It has a whole host of features that is currently absent on Instagram Reels. While Facebook has been known to steal features from other social networks, it’s still unclear how the app will fill these gaps, but it will offer a comparable version of TikTok technology on its Instagram platform.

The In’s and Out’s of Reels

Reels uses the same concept that Tik-Tok sampling licensed music and videos, which allows users access to music and audio for Reels videos. When scrolling through your Home Feed or Explore page, you'll be able to tell which posts are Reels clips by clicking the board icon in the bottom-left corner.

From the outside looking in, Reels is a similar experience as viewing TikTok videos: You can like or comment on videos and click through to see what audio track was used in a specific video. It's not clear if you're able to sift through videos, similar to TikTok's "For You" feed”.

A new tab will be added to users' profiles to showcase all their Reels in one place. The tab will live alongside the traditional grid of recent posts, as well as tabs for viewing IGTV videos or videos a user was tagged in.

The Reels video format lives inside of stories, which users can create in the top-left corner of the Home feed. It appears that Instagram is updating the scroll of options at the bottom of the screen. With it, you can create live videos, text posts and Boomerangs for product previews.

What’s Better for Your Brand?

With TikTok facing scrutiny on how it handles its user data, alternatives like Instagram Reels will start to pop up. But are they trustworthy? And, will they work for your brand? From the early looks of it, Reels videos will be limited to 15 seconds, short of the 60 seconds that TikTok allows.

Instagram Reels allows users to make content to pair with music. That’s a huge piece that was missing with Instagram before. Before, you had to make your own video and edit it with music in video editing software platform such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X. Now, Reels offers new users a way to shoot, edit, and post video content directly to your audience. Whether it’s through a tutorial, preview, product demonstration or product launch, content creators can leverage this to grow your brand.

Its audience is growing and you’ll be able to tap into Instagram’s billion+ users. At a time when countries are banning TikTok because of how it handles user data, it might make sense to stick with Instagram and solidify your following on its platform.

How to Gain Followers with Reels

Like any new social media platform, it can be difficult to navigate the best way to use it so you can maximize your following and economic opportunities. There’s a lot of different ways to capitalize on its uses. Here are some quick tips:

  • Share your Reels in the Explore section for everyone on the platform to view it. Unlike Insta Stories, you can reach people outside of those who follow you.
  • Be funny, creative, real and most importantly, fun
  • Upload clips that are surprising, make people laugh out loud and timely
  • Watch the clip again, share it and create a new reel
  • Be relatable, culturally relevant, inspiring and responsible

Stay tuned for the latest news and developments about Instagram Reels. Check out a YouTube tutorial that will help you get your skills up to par.

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