Reels is Instagram’s attempt to take advantage of TikTok̵7;s popularity. This feature allows you to create 15-second videos with a handful of fun editing tools. Here’s how to get started.
You may be wondering how Reels differs from Instagram Stories. While stories are more about your daily life, Reels is all about creativity and entertainment. There are some new editing tools to help you do something fun and shareable.
RELATED: What are Instagram reels and is it a TikTok clone?
Instagram Reels is similar to TikTok, but the biggest difference is that it is a feature of a larger ecosystem. TikTok, on the other hand, is exclusively for short videos. If you are already an avid Instagram user, Reels can be more appealing.
How to record and create Instagram rolls
To get started, open Instagram on your iPhone or Android device. From there, tap the camera icon in the upper left corner to open the Instagram Stories camera.
At the bottom of the screen you will see the different camera modes. Drag to “rolls.”
In “Reels” mode, you will see four icons on the left side of the screen. Here are the tools you can use when recording:
- Music: Select music to play over your clip.
- Playback: Select the playback speed of the clip. You can use slow motion or fast forward.
- effects: Instagram’s library of augmented reality masks, backgrounds, games and more.
- Timer: Predefine the length of the clip so that you do not have to use your hands to stop recording.
There are some other buttons on the screen as well. You can turn the flash on or off, flip the front and rear cameras, or go to the Story settings.
To create a roll from pre-recorded videos, you can add media by tapping the plus sign (+) in the lower left corner.
Select a video (you can not use photos) from your media gallery.
You can now trim the video by dragging the ends of the timeline. Click “Upload” when done.
To start recording a new video, press the camera key. A pink progress bar appears at the top of the screen to indicate the cut-off time of 15 seconds.
Press the camera button again to stop recording or let the 15 seconds end.
To record a clip hands-free, click the aforementioned “Timer” button, select a duration, and then press “Set timer.”
You can then place the phone in a holder or support it and press the camera key to start recording. It will automatically stop at the predetermined duration.
If you stop recording before the 15-second limit, you have the option to adjust new clips earlier for a seamless transition. After recording a clip, you will see a new Adjustment icon appear on the page; tap it to see an overlay of the previous clip. Then move the camera to adjust.
Clips shorter than 15 seconds minimize to the left of the camera button. You can tap this to remove the clip or cut the length before continuing.
Press the camera button again to add a new clip to the series. A roll can include as many clips as you want, but they must add up to 15 seconds or less.
When you have recorded all your clips, press the Next arrow (>) to start editing. If you spent a full 15 seconds on the first recording, you will automatically be taken to the editing screen.
How to edit and share Instagram scrolls
Now that you have recorded a roll, you will see a new set of tools at the top of the screen:
- Download: Tap this to save the video to your phone.
- stickers: This is where you can add Instagram stickers, emojis and GIFs.
- Drag: Doodles on the video with a number of different pencils and color choices.
- Text: Add text with different fonts and colors.
This is also where you can adjust the length of a roll. Drag the handles at the end of the timeline at the bottom to cut the clip.
When you have finished editing, press the Next arrow (>) at the bottom right.
Now it’s time to share your roll with the world (or just a few friends). There are two tabs for sharing your creations: “scrolls” and “stories”.
If you share via the “Reels” tab, your video will be added to your profile and in your followers’ feeds like a regular Instagram post. First click on the preview to select a cover image.
To adjust the cover, swipe across the timeline at the bottom of the screen until you find a still image you like. You can also tap “Add from Gallery” to select a cover photo from your photo gallery.
Click “Done” when you are happy with the cover image.
Now you can give your roll a caption. tap the text box next to the scroll bar to type one.
If your account is public, the Scroll can also be displayed on the “Discover” tab. This means that people who do not follow you will be able to see it when you browse the public “Discover” tab. It will also appear publicly in your profile.
Switch to “Also share to feed” (not available on private accounts) to also share a roll with your followers.
Sharing a roll through the “Stories” tab simply puts it on your Instagram story, and it will be there for 24 hours. The “Stories” tab is also where you can send the scroll as an instant message to someone or a group.
How to browse Instagram scrolls
Scrolls are integrated into the main Instagram interface, but there are a few different ways to see only scrolls.
First, scrolls from the accounts you follow will simply appear in your feed and stories. To view scrolls from a specific account, go to that person’s profile page and tap the scroll icon.
Instagram also has a dedicated section for surfing on reels. Open the Instagram app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Click on the magnification icon at the bottom to go to the “Discover” tab.
Press “scrolls” at the bottom left.
You are now in the scrolling interface for reels. At the bottom left, you can tap the icons to like, comment or share scrolls. The camera icon at the top right takes you to the screen to create scrolls.
Scroll through the Instagram scrolls by dragging up to go to the next video or swipe down to update the feed.
After scrolling, tap the back arrow at the top left to exit the scrolls interface and return to the Instagram app.