By now, you probably know what TikTok is.
Even if you don’t know its intricacies and reason for being so popular among the younger generation, you’ll certainly be aware of its existence.
Getting your head around TikTok is pretty straightforward. It’s a video sharing service which enables users to record short clips that can be synced to music and other audio sources.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram now wants a slice of the TikTok engagement pie, and that has resulted in something called Instagram Reels.
What are Instagram Reels?
An Instagram Reel is nearly identical to a TikTok video in concept. Users can record 15-second video clips, set them to music and share them to Stories.
There’s a huge library of music and audio to choose from, but you can also record your own, original soundtrack or borrow audio from another video.
Reels can also be sent as messages to specific users.
How to use instagram Reels
So, Instagram Reels are on their way, and you probably have one lingering question: how do you use Instagram reels?
As you’d expect from Instagram, it’s super-easy to create a Reel. You just head into the Stories section of the app, and tap the ‘Reels’ option at the bottom of the screen.
From there, you can select your audio, choose the speed of the video (.3x, .5x, 1x, 2x or 3x), and dictate how long the clip will be.
All that’s left to do is hold down the record button and do your stuff.
You can also add filters to Reels, as you can with regular Instagram Stories.
When are Instagram Reels coming to UK?
Are Instagram Reels available in UK? Not yet.
Instagram’s strategy with Reels is a smart one. They’re starting relatively small by targeting countries in which TikTok isn’t yet dominating.
In which countries are Instagram Reels available other than Brazil? The new feature is also being tested in Germany and France.
There’s a wider, global launch on the cards, but Facebook is remaining tight-lipped about when exactly that will be. This has been tempered somewhat by the Indian government recently banning TikTok.
It’s coming, though – so keep an eye on your Instagram app for the Reels update.
Will TikTok overtake Instagram?
So, in the great battle of Instagram Reels vs TikTok, who’s likely to be the winner?
It’s far too early to tell. TikTok has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity over the last 12 months. The app is particularly popular with young people aged between 25-34, but it has some way to go before it reaches the heady heights of Instagram’s 1 billion active users.
In theory, Instagram has both the platform and loyal audience to make a success of Reels, but it’s important to bear in mind that, unlike TikTok, these short-form video clips are just one option within a bigger platform.
TikTok has arguably performed so admirably because it focuses on doing one thing very well indeed. Whether or not Instagram’s more feature-rich platform can compete remains to be seen.