Many social media tried to repeat the success of TikTok , but not many of them have actually done something. YouTube Shorts are officially off the race, but Instagram has realised its plans and finally launched their own TikTok rival - Reels. This what the 4K Download team will cover in this article.
What is Reels
On August 5th, Facebook announced the launch of short-video service within Instagram - Reels. This is a direct competitor of the Chinese TikTok app developed by Bytedance.
Reels is about the new way of creating and discovering short entertaining videos, Instagram claims. Now, if you post such a video in a public Instagram account, many other users are able to find you.
Reels is now available in iOS and Android Instagram apps in 50 countries, including Brazil, India, the US, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and some others.
Reels remains unavailable in those countries where you can’t use Instagram music. Later, when the service is available there, users will only be able to watch videos without music.
How Reels works
The service enables you to shoot and edit 15-second videos on Instagram . You can apply various AR effects, use audio from an Instagram music library or use original backtracks, and change the speed of your clip. This is somewhat similar to Instagram Stories, but unlike them, Reels has more advanced editing features.
Besides, the actual idea behind Reels is to show pre-edited and planned clips with music and transitions. Stories are more of a lifestyle and casual thing.
Instagram also warns that if you use your original backtrack in your music, other creators will be able to use it in their videos if your account is public. If the account is private, other Instagrammers will be unable to use your track in their clips.
So what exactly you can do with Reels:
Apply AR effects to your videos. Instagram has an effects gallery you can browse to find what you’d like to use in your art.
Use audio tracks. You can find tracks in an Instagram music library or use your own tracks.
Use timer and countdown. With these, you can make videos hands-free. All you need is to press record; then you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
Use transitions. You can align objects from your previous clip before recording your next one and make slightest transitions.
Slow-mo and speed. Speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected.
You can record Reels in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your photo gallery. To record your first clip, press and hold the capture button. Once you start recording, you’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen. Stop recording to end each clip.
Just like with any other content on Instagram, you can delete your reel or report a video of another user if this violates the Instagram community guidelines.
And like with Instagram posts, Stories and IGTV, you can share reels with your friends on Feed and in the special tab on the Explore page.
As you tap on an audio track, hashtag, or an effect, Instagram will show you all clips that have this track, hashtag, or an effect alike. Just like how TikTok does.
When your reel is ready, you can then save a draft of the video, change the cover image, add a caption, hashtags, and tag other Instagrammers. When you upload the reel and make it seen to anyone, the video appears on a separate tab on your Instagram profile page. If you share the clip to your Feed, it will show up in your main profile grid.
Depending on the type of account you have - public or private one - you can share the reel to your story, Close Friends, and direct messages. If you share it to your story, it will last for 24 hours and will appear neither on the Explore tab nor your main profile.
Reels vs TikTok
Rumour has it Instagram has already started poaching famous TikTok influencers to Reels and is said to be ready to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars. In response, TikTok has created its own fund of $200 million to support popular creators.
Videos on Reels are only 15-second long, which means they’re shorter than TikTok clips.
Yet there are many similarities between Reels and TikTok, and Reels has been created as an Instagram’s response to their Chinese rival, so far it’s hard to tell if Reels will be better than TikTok. One of the peculiarities that the two services differ in is the way of promotion.
TikTok gives a shot to anybody to appear on the Discover page meanwhile Instagram caters for influences with sustainable followership. Some users who have tried both are not really excited about the new TikTok copycat.
What TikTok and Reels share in common is that both TikTok, a stand-alone app, and Reels, a feature within Instagram, are free to use. With Reels, Instagram copied TikTok’s main feature to create short videos, which are loaded with songs and packed with effects and transitions.
Among the differences, apart from the promotion methods, is that on Instagram, the videos are uploaded onto the Explore tab, a mixture of photos, stories, long-form videos and IGTV. On TikTok, clips are published on the For You page, a feed which is algorithmically tailored to show clips that match your interests. Reels also lacks TikTok’s advanced editing features, like song recommendations and automatic clip trimming, that use artificial intelligence to speed up the process of video creation.
Another point that may influence rivalry is the current pressure TikTok is under: India has banned TikTok, the US government sees TikTok as a national security threat. Given all these, it won’t be surprising if Reels wins in the long run.
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