Instagram Launches Reels, a TikTok Alternative
‘Grammers rejoice! Instagram just announced the launch of its highly anticipated Reels feature, which directly competes with the TikTok.
The release of Reels means you can now record, edit, and share videos with your friends and followers on your Instagram Feed. Unlike TikTok, Reels vids max out at 15-seconds, meaning they’re quite shorter than TikTok videos (which can be up to a minute and a half long).
If your Instagram profile is public, your reach with Reels goes far beyond your personal feed. Instagram has created a new space on the Explore page for Reel videos by public accounts – similar to TikTok’s For You Page. This is huge news for content creators, because it means your Insta profile now has the potential to be discovered by innumerable potential followers if your Reel does well – and it can do well whether or not you have a blue check! Expanding your platform just got a whole lot more accessible.
HOW CAN I FIND REELS ON INSTAGRAM?
Open your camera on Instagram and scroll at the bottom until you find the Reels section. From there, you’ll see options for editing tools at the left of your screen, including:
Audio, where you can search for a song from the Instagram music library (so that’s where our music feature for Stories went!)
AR Effects, which you’ll already be familiar with if you’ve ever played around with Instagram Story filters.
Self-timer and Countdown for hands-free creation
Alignment Tool, for enhancing your video aesthetic
Speed Setting, which lets you slow or speed up your videos.
Unlike a regular Instagram story, you can either record your Reel in a series of clips, all at once, or use video uploads from your Photo Library.
SO HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM TIKTOK?
Great question. While at first glance the two might seem quite similar, there are a few key differences that distinguish Reels and every Gen Z-er’s favorite app.
In terms of video creation, Reels has almost all the features you love from TikTok – fun filters, hit songs, and tons of fancy new editing capabilities previously unavailable for Instagram Stories. While you can’t Duet your friends just yet, Reels allows you to send clips via direct message (a feature TikTok does not have).
Instagram’s launch of Reels follows weeks of escalating tensions between TikTok and the Trump administration, including rumors of a nationwide ban or Microsoft acquisition continuing to echo through the social media eco-sphere.
It will be interesting to see whether or not TikTok creators move their clips to Instagram in the coming weeks. While Instagram is undeniably a more established platform (and, not to mention, isn’t feuding with the US government) TikTok’s recent decision to start paying its top creators may be what keeps the loyalty of your favorite tokkers – but will it be enough?
About sophia pelosi
Sophia Pelosi is the Associate Marketing Manager at BlogHer, as well as a contributing author to BlogHer.com. She lives in New York City, and is passionate about pasta from scratch, daily meditation, 70s disco fashion and her beagle Lucy. She graduated from Colby College in 2019. Follow her on Instagram.