Updated: Apr 4
Since it was first launched back in 2010, Instagram has grown to become one of the biggest and best social media sites of them all, and a big part of the platform's success has been its ability to change and grow in line with the times.
Even when competing brands like TikTok have begun to emerge, Instagram has always known the right ways to respond and the platform has launched a great new feature known as 'Instagram Reels' in order to compete with TikTok popular video clip format.
What Is Instagram Reels?
The Reels feature for Instagram was announced and launched back in August of 2020. Instagram marketed it as a new way for users to create content, and the feature was instantly compared with TikTok, for a good reason.
Reels is a lot like the TikTok format, allowing Instagram users to record and edit 15-second videos with audio, special effects, and more.
You can edit multiple mini-clips together into your Reels and share them with friends and followers via your Feed, or even make them available for public viewing in the entire IG community if you prefer.
Using the feature is quick and easy, with users simply needing to select the Reels option on the Instagram camera and then check out the various features to film their videos straight from the app or upload previously-recorded clips from their devices.
You can choose songs from the Instagram library or add your own audio if you like, as well as trying out vibrant augmented reality (AR) effects, timers, countdowns, different speed settings, and so on.
Why Should You Use Reels?
The Reels feature is still pretty new for the Instagram community, but there are many reasons to get in on the ground floor with this fun feature and give it a try for you.
• Fresh Content – In the past, the only option Instagram users had been to take or upload photos and images to their accounts. The Reels feature allows you to shake up your profile with an entirely new form of video content.
• Higher Engagement – Many users, from individual influencers to business brands, have seen engagement levels start to soar since they began to use the Reels feature and share videos with their followers.
• Express Your Creativity – As explained above, Reels comes with lots of fun features like special effects and audio options, so it's an excellent option for those who like to get creative and want to express themselves differently.
Unlocking the Reels Algorithm
Of course, as with any other significant social media feature, Reels is based on a mysterious and complex algorithm that users need to try and figure out to get their videos viewed by the highest amounts of people.
For a while after the feature launch, IG users were in the dark regarding how the algorithm worked and what they needed to do to get their videos featured and highlighted. Fortunately, the platform has since revealed some essential 'dos and don'ts' for those who want to get the best results.
• Create content that is fun, entertaining, and engaging for other users, such as clips that make people laugh or inspire them.
• Be unique and fresh with your approach, including unexpected surprises or twists in your clips and starting new online trends.
• Always film your videos vertically to have the best chance of them getting featured.
• Make use of Reels' features such as text boxes, filters, and special AR effects.
• Make use of audio from the Instagram music library or your own original audio to avoid any rights issues.
• Do not upload low-quality clips with blurry visuals and unclear images.
• Avoid copying and pasting content from other apps, especially TikTok.
• Steer clear of content that features logos or watermarks and videos with borders or other visual effects that detract from the viewing experience.
• Don't cover up most of the content with large text.
• Avoid content that could violate Instagram's guidelines.
If you follow these top tips, you'll be able to hack the Reels algorithm in no time and get your video content out to the broadest possible audience, bringing in new followers and building your brand in the process.
Missing some Features?
Are you a business owner not able to see all the features, such as music?
Depending on your geographical location will depend if you have full access to the Reels features, such as music. A blog written by Alexandra from the thepreviewapp, outlining where current features should be "open" to you and how to troubleshoot if you are having issues specifically with your account.
At Creative Dynamics Virtual Services, we have been "waiting" to see music button on our business account; and it has been stated most business accounts on Instagram do not have this button, due to the reasons called copyright. As a business, we don't have the legal right to use the latest songs to help promote our business. A great article written by Yoursocial.team has provided solutions to help your business to get ahead and use reels, even if you can't use that music button.
We have yet to do a reel because we are waiting to see if one day we can get all that amazing music. Until then, we are always researching the latest trends to keep you informed as much as possible!
We would love to hear from you if you have any questions related to Social Media and if we can help you navigate the waters!
CEO - Creative Dynamics Virtual Services