How to use Reels on Instagram – what are they and how do you get them?

The latest addition to Instagram is called Reels, a function allowing users to record, edit and publish bite-sized videos in a way not dissimilar to rival TikTok. Instagram Reels last up to 15 seconds and can be augmented with special effects, filters and separate audio. Although at first glance Reels resemble Instagram Stories, there are a few key differences and reasons why users may prefer one over the other.

What are Instagram Reels?

Today we bring you Reels on Instagram: a new way to create and experience short and entertaining videos on this platform


Instagram Reels provides a wider variety of editing tools.

These range from AR effects, the ability to accelerate or slow both audio and video and the chance to align multiple clips for refined transitions.

Instagram Reels is also easily shared to the Explore feed of users with public accounts.

This will likely be popular with people who wish to build a following.

If original audio is incorporated in a Reel other users can include it in their own.

Instagram experts have already noted how similar Reels feels to its rival TikTok.

And others have also noted the similarity to Instagram launching Stories, which some believe replicated much of Snapchat’s functionality.

How to use Instagram Reels:

To create a Reel, open the Instagram camera, in exactly the same way to use Stories, and select Reels on the bottom scroll bar.

You will next see the editing tools stacked on the screen’s left-hand side.

Now use the record button to create one or even a series of clips.

A handy progress bar at the top of the screen reminds users how much of the allotted 15 seconds is left.

Then simply tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen once you are ready to publish.

Instagram Reels also offer the option to include a caption, choose a cover image, add hashtags and publish the resulting video to Reels – for those with a public account.

Reels will appear on Explore and be stored on a tab on users’ profile page, as with IGTV.

Another option is available for both public and private accounts – the ability to post Instagram Reels to your Feed.

These Reels will appear on both the main grid and the Reels tab.

Users also have the option to send their Reel as a direct message or post it to their Stories.

Either option will treat the video like a regular Instagram Story that vanishes after 24 hours.

Other users’ Instagram Reels can be watched by tapping the main toolbar’s search icon.

Instagram Reels are featured at the top and users need only tap and scroll to cycle through the clips.

Users can easily follow users and like, share and comment on Reels directly from here.

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