Instagram Reels, What Exactly are They?

With TikTok being banned in India, and as it faces a potential ban in the United States, content creators from all around the world have begun to search for alternative means to share their videos: Instagram Reels is on its way to plug that gap.


Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

Both apps are largely similar as creators on Reels may add filters and effects to their videos, similar to when they film videos on TikTok. They can also play with the video’s speed, set a timer and add popular music or audio to their creations. Aspiring creators’ videos are viewable by everyone as long as their Instagram accounts are public, and they appear on other users’ ‘Discover’ or ‘Explore’ pages, along with static posts and other videos. Users may tap into a Reels video and scroll through popular content, which is similar to TikTok’s ‘For You Page’. For private accounts, Reels videos disappear after 24-hours, just like Instagram Stories.

Still, if you’re familiar with TikTok, you might miss the ‘Duet’ function as Reels does not have it yet. Another important difference is that TikTok videos can last up to a minute long but Reels videos are limited at 15 seconds.


Instagram’s Video Formats: Stories vs. Reels vs. IGTV

IGTV is largely different from the other two video forms on Instagram as those videos are much longer and can even go up to 60 minutes. It was designed for creators to upload high quality, long-form videos, similar to YouTube.

Videos on Instagram Reels and Stories are 15 seconds long – their main difference lies in the types of content uploaded: Stories was designed as a social feature, for users to casually share brief snippets of their lives with their followers, while Reels was imagined with entertainment in mind.

Instagram Explore Page

What Next?

Reels might take a while to pick up, as TikTok maintains its monopoly over short, creative, music-focused video content. But the new feature fits in to Instagram’s ecosystem so well, it will not be a surprise if it eventually replaces TikTok – much like how Instagram Stories phased out Snapchat in the past. With everything on the same app, influencers and advertisers will find it easier to roll out marketing campaigns.

Instagram is definitely the place to be for influencer marketing, especially as content creators can soon tap on this addictive format. Now, with this new addition, brands can better target the Gen Z crowd on the already established social media platform.