It’s perfect timing for the launch of this 15-second video creator. Here’s how to use Instagram Reels.
Instagram just stepped up to the short-form video plate with their announcement of Instagram Reels. You can now shoot, edit, and post videos entirely on Instagram – 15-second videos that is. This new feature is essentially their answer to TikTok (and the timing is pretty perfect). With music, AR-based effects, and overlays, as well as a way to cut and compile your clips within the app, it’s an all-in-one tool for scrollable video.
This is the age of individual creators and small businesses producing and publishing content without complicated third party apps and software. Great video just keeps getting easier. Let’s break down all the features and look at how you can start making a video right this second.
What Instagram Reels Looks Like
On Reels, you have four tools to help you start working on your video. Here’s what each one does:
- Audio – Search and choose any song you’d like to play over your video from the Instagram music library. Once you’ve chosen the right song you can scroll through the lyrics to find the perfect 15 seconds you want featured in your video. This is key to the reaction and music meme videos made popular on TikTok. If you’re a music-maker, you can also play your own original audio, which will make that music available to use for anyone watching your Reel.
- Speed – This is exactly what it sounds like. You have the ability to record in slow motion or fast motion.
- Effects – Like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories, the effects available are overlays and AR-minded effects that manipulate the subjects and environments around you.
- Timer – This feature is perfect for solo records who need to film themselves dancing, performing, or simply talking in front of the camera. You’re able to select how long you want to record, so hit the record button and get in position (you’ve got three seconds).
Using the Align Effect
Perhaps one of the coolest tools, the Align Effect takes the last frame from your previous clip and applies it as an overlay over your video. What’s the point of that? If you’re trying to do a trick – changing clothes, locations, people, this effect will allow you to position the camera in the right spot, making it seem like there was never a cut. This the tool people use to make those shoe and outfit change videos you see everywhere!
Recording and Editing
To record video simply press the record button, or hold it and release when you want to stop recording. This is pretty standard if you’ve ever shot video on your phone, Instagram Stories, or TikTok.
Once you’ve recorded your clip you can trim it down to be a specific length. Just hit the “Left Arrow” next to the record button and you’ll find your clip with a trim frame around it at the bottom of your screen. Once you’ve set it to play for the right amount of time, hit the Arrow button to apply the edit to your video.
Using Titles and Stickers
Just like TikTok and Instagram stories, you’re able to use titles and stickers, as well as draw on top of your footage. You can also add multiple titles and have them come on and off screen. Add your title, then at the bottom you’ll see an editing frame show up that will allow you to choose where and how long the title will pop up on screen.
For stickers, GIFs, and hand drawing, you’ll be locked you’ll be locked to the whole video. Just know that if you add one of these elements, it will stay on screen throughout the recording.
Where to Post Your Video
Instagram now has a “Reels” feed. This content in your Reels feeds is based on similar accounts that you follow as well as actual accounts you follow. When you post your video, it will fall into this same type of publication algorithm. For example, if your video is about skateboarding, it will probably show up in a skateboarder’s feed at some point. Here are the options you have for posting your new video:
- Reels Feed – Posting to Reels will plug your reel in to the general feed. This is your best shot at being noticed as this is how content gets seen by people who aren’t your followers.
- Your Feed – You can also publish the video to your feed, allowing your followers to see the video as they scroll through their feed like normal.
- Your Stories – Posting to your Story is also a good idea to get it out there. There’s an opportunity for people to see it and share it. Users watching Instagram Stories are looking for this type of video content compared to the users scrolling through their feed looking at memes and photographs.
- DM the video – You can also send the video directly to your friends. This is a good way to create personalized content meant for specific people.
Instagram Reels looks like its going to be an amazing tool for creators, small business owners, and marketers as it eliminates a good chunk of video production hassle.
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