Popular social platform Instagram expanded its new video-music remix feature Reels to France and Germany. ‘Reels’ is the TikTok rival and was first launched in Brazil in 2019 as a pilot. Instagram now will enable users to share Reels to their Instagram feed, along with the Stories feature.

Instagram Reels allows users to record short, 15-second video clips that are synced to music or other audio and share those on the platform. It is similar to TikTok, and users can soundtrack their ‘Reels’ with a massive collection of music, or borrow any audio from else’s video to create a remix of their meme or a joke.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that in India, TikTok had garnered more response and followers than Instagram. Facebook’s experimental app division also introduced a new iOS app named ‘Collab’ for creating and mixing music with friends. The social network giant also owns a stand-alone app called ‘Lasso’. Currently available in the United States, users can use Lasso to record themselves dancing and lip-syncing to music, which is similar to TikTok. However, the app failed drastically. Google-owned YouTube is also working on a TikTok rival named Shorts, which will be introduced by the end of 2020.

‘TikTok rival Reels’ is a brand new way of creating fun and engaging video content from Instagram Stories. The users can select songs/music from a vast library of music, borrow audio from others or record their original soundtrack. It also has a handy video countdown timer and option for adjusting the video’s speed, similar to TikTok. Instagram Reels can be shared on Instagram Stories, sent directly to specific users, or added to a new Reels tab on a user’s profile. There is also a new addition section in Instagram Explore named ‘Top Reels’, where the best-performing public Reels will get a chance to go viral.

Reels is considered as a direct response to the growing popularity of TikTok, which gained tremendous popularity in the last 12 months. TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020. Also, the TikTok’s core demographic is dramatically changing- while it was mostly used earlier by Gen-Z users, nowadays millennials contribute to the more significant share of TikTok’s user base than ever before. This subsequently makes it an excellent platform for attracting proposition for advertisers.

In such a scenario, it is no surprise that Instagram is fast making moves to replicate the most attractive features of TikTok, and mostly in areas where TikTok hasn’t yet amassed a strong foothold, like Brazil. Reels have a higher chance of success in comparison to any other app, due to its prime positioning in the Instagram app- Instagram already has more than 1 billion active users.

How to Create a Video with Instagram Reels

  • Instagram Reels is a new mode in the Instagram Stories camera section, located either between the default Normal mode and Create mode or on the bottom menu next to “Story”.
  • To access the Reels, open the Instagram Stories camera and find the Reels icon.
  • From this screen, one can select the audio by tapping the music icon.
  • One can choose the speed of the video by pressing the play icon.
  • Select how long the video clips will be by selecting the stopwatch icon. When the timer is set, there’s a countdown before the recording starts.
  • Similar to the Boomerang mode, users can scroll across to apply effects or AR filters to their Instagram Reels video.
  • Users can also choose to use any previously saved filters or can scroll to the end and tap “Browse Effects”.
  • Hold down the record button to capture footage.
  • Similar to the TikTok app, one can start and stop recording multiple times during the 15-second video by pressing and holding the record button.
  • Once the result is out, users can edit the cover photo with a video thumbnail or add a cover from their camera roll.
  • After that, save the recorded file as a draft, send it to friends, share it to stories, or add it to the Instagram profile.

Instagram Reels is currently available only in Brazil, France, and Germany.