Instagram Reels 101: Profiting through creativity

When social networks release new functions, it’s always worth paying attention to them. If you can be the first to market with good content, you can get a serious head start compared to your competitors.

In this episode of Internet Marketing for Humans, Jen Meredith discusses what Instagram Reels are and why they might be useful to you.

What is Instagram Reels?

Following the huge success of TikTok which has over 800 million active users and has been particularly successful during lockdown, Instagram is introducing Reels. This is a video editing tool designed for creating 15-second videos that can be shared on their Instagram Stories, sent via DM, or posted to a section of the Explore tab called Top Reels.

Where is Reels released?

At the moment, it’s been rolled out in Brazil, France, Germany and the latest country is India, which works out well because India has actually just banned around 60 Chinese apps, probably due to the political turmoil between the two countries. India actually had a very active TikTok user base  – over 120 million – so this is a welcome feature for people who want to make and watch TikTok style videos in that country.

UK release

Instagram haven’t announced a date for release in the UK, but when it does come, I would make sure that you have content ideas prepared because Instagram will favour those who use the feature right away.

Age of audience

Is this another feature that attracts a mainly young audience? No! Because only 6% of Instagram users are aged 13-17. Most are in the 25-34 age bracket (35%). 

And actually, TikTok was attracting a larger share of older users during the lockdown. The percentage of US-based TikTok users aged between 25-34 increased from 22% in January to 27% in April, while the 18-24 year-old bracket fell from 41% to 35%.

Why use Reels?

It makes sense to make use of the new Reels feature because, as I’ve said before, Instagram rewards you with its algorithm if you use new features. So your posts are likely to be seen by more people.

Also, people who are used to using TikTok will likely be able to use Reels intuitively because they’re already familiar with the format of creating short videos within a single app.

How to use Reels

You can access Reels in the Instagram Stories camera mode and when it’s released it’ll appear at the bottom of the screen. You can use music from the integrated music library, choose the speed of your video, and apply a filter. And you can stop and start recording to create live cuts like you would in TikTok.