Instagram’s answer to TikTok, ‘Reels’ has launched in Australia, offering users the ability to create and watch TikTok-style short videos.
Reels gives users the ability to create short-form edited videos that can be overlaid with music and special effects, alongside features including a timer, editing tools, speed controls, AR filters and a new align tool. It appears as a new content creation function in the Instagram app, sitting alongside Stories, IGTV and Instagram Live.
To mark the launch, Instagram has provided a step-by-step guide to using the new tool.
- Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen that you can use to create your reel, including Music, AR Effects, Align Tool, Timer and others. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery.
- Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.
- Once your reel is ready, choose the share button, where you can change the cover image, add a caption, hashtags, and tag your friends. You can also save a draft of your reel if you want to pause and come back to it.
- After you share your reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on your profile, where people can find the reels you’ve shared. You’ll be able to see likes and comments, and how many times your reel has been played.
- Whether you have a public or private account, you can share your reel to your Story, close friends, or in a direct message. If you opt to do so, your reel will behave like a regular Story — it will not be shared to Reels in Explore, will not appear on your profile, and will disappear after 24 hours.
The launch comes at a tumultuous time for TikTok, who have been under fire recently, with concerns growing about China’s influence over the app, sparking responses from governments all around the world.
TikTok is now facing a potential ban in the United States by President Donald Trump or a possible partial acquisition by Microsoft. ByteDance have stated that Facebook was among the troubles in its path, accusing the company of plagiarizing its product. Robby Stein, Instagram’s product director, told The Verge that while TikTok popularised the short video format, the two products are different. “I think TikTok deserves a ton of credit for popularizing formats in this space, and it’s just great work,” said Instagram’s product director, Robby Stein. “But at the end of the day, no two products are exactly alike, and ours are not either.”
Snapchat vs Instagram anyone?