For Reels.

Instagram Reels has dropped and if you’re thinking it’s a lot like TikTok you’d be right.

Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) tried, and failed, to launch a stand-alone app called Lasso in 2018 as an alternative to TikTok, but shut it down in 2020. 

With the American government now banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat, Instagram Reels could have a much higher chance of success thanks to its prime position within the Instagram app itself. And having 1 billion active users already on Instagram doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s how to use it and how to make it work for you –

  1. Go to instagram stories and look for REELS under the camera button icon.
  2. From here you can choose your music, speed, effects and length of video from the icons on the right hand side.
  3. Press record to record your footage or choose from previously recorded clips on your phone. Don’t panic – you can start and stop recording multiple times within your 15 sec timeslot by pressing and holding the record button.
  4. Once you’ve created the perfect video clip edit it using the instagram editing features – draw or add some text, add stickers or gifs etc. 
  5.  You can edit the cover with a photo from your camera roll or choose a custom thumbnail
  6. Once you have created your Oscar winning piece and hit publish, it will appear in your stories, in the new REELS tab (located in between your photo grid and your mentions tab on your profile) and in the new Explore feed. You can also save your videos as drafts if you’re not ready to release them to the insta-public just yet.

But reely, what’s the point? With 1 billion MAU on instagram it’s worthwhile remembering that people are always looking for new, fun, engaging content. Reels is a creative way to showcase snippets of your brand. Check out @stefankunz for his fun reels showcasing his art or @louisvuitton advertising their new LV Cruise line.

Here’s 3 things you can do with Reels for your business –

  • create authentic content that resonates with your users 
  • share educational content – think photo editing, styling tips or a super quick cooking class (you might want to speed up your video timing for this!)
  • showcase your products in a creative, eye catching way

Right now there are no specific insights or analytics for Reels other than likes, comments and views, but expect this to change as it takes off. You can also expect new features like shoppable links and swipe up options to be added.

Give Reels a try and add it into your social media strategy – if the uptake on TikTok was anything to go by this will only get bigger and bigger. With the added bonus of your data not being owned by the Chinese government.