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Instagram creates new Reels feature to compete with Tik-Tok


     A big question American teens are pondering is “will TikTok be banned in the U.S.?”  While the answer is still up in the air, Instagram has created a similar alternative to the platform called Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels is a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram.

     The new feature is designed to take the place of TikTok, so you can still enjoy recording and editing your 15-second multi-clip videos with effects and audio. Instagram has also added a Reels tab on users’ profiles so you can access your video from wherever you decided to place it, whether it be on your story or on the explore feed. This is quite similar to one of TikTok’s biggest features, the “For You” page. A video gets put on the “For You” page if your account is public and you create attention-grabbing videos. These videos can come from a variety of topics such as dance, comedy, singing etc. Instagram’s version of the “For You” page is the “Explore Feed,” where instead of only seeing content from accounts you follow, you will see content from trending accounts on Instagram. I am so excited this feature was added, because I spend the majority of my time on TikTok’s “For You” page and it's by far one of my

List Mental Health Instagram Post.jpg

Infographic by Murphy Fisher

favorite places to see videos from people from around the world. 

    To record a reel, all you need to do is go to the Instagram stories camera menu which is positioned either between the default Normal mode and Create mode or on the bottom menu next to “Story”. There, you will find the Reels icon. After recording your video, you can scroll across to apply effects or augmented reality filters to it. You can choose to use any previously saved filters or you can scroll to the end and tap “Browse Effects”. Aside from making Reels for fun, you can also use them to promote your business, build your community and grow on Instagram. 

    You may notice that some Reels have a “featured” label above their caption. Featured Reels are a selection of public Reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content they hope will inspire and entertain you. If your reel gets featured in the “Explore Feed”, Instagram will send you a notification. Similarly to TikTok, Reels allow you to use sounds or audios you like. This can be done by clicking on "use audio," which will allow you to make your video. In addition to music and effects, there are also editing tools you can play around with to get your video just how you like it. Some of the tools available for use are a video timer with a 3-2-1 countdown to start your video, as well as options to adjust the speed of the clip to a specific pace. When you are publishing your reel, you get to choose to upload from your camera roll or film the video on the spot. 

     According to Adweek, TikTok generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter. Instagram has launched Reels in the hopes that they can achieve that same success or even more, thanks to its prime positioning in the Instagram app and all of the exposure and familiarity that comes with it. 

     There are over one billion active Instagram users, and Reels will hopefully attract even more. Instagram Reels are coming up strong and I have a feeling that the more experience Instagram has with it, the more they will add to it. I have loved making Reels so far, they have been so much fun to play around and experience with and are very user friendly, I would 10/10 recommend. 

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