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Wanting to know what all the hype around Instagram’s latest Reels feature is all about? We break down the fundamentals of using and creating unique content with Tik-Tok’s doppelganger tool. Basically: in much the same way as Tik-Tok, users of Instagram can record videos including tailored music and effects options and upload them to their stories or to the brand new Reels tab.

Alongside Instagram’s Explore feed featuring photographs, video posts and shopping adverts for you to scroll through when in need of some inspo, it now additionally features a “Reels” tab so you can replicate or browse through the inventive and comedic reels posts of others. As it’s a brand new feature, you won’t be exposed to reels from who you follow but rather the most popular and trending reels of the time. Some reels you come across may be labelled as “Featured” which simply means that Instagram has selected these specific reels for you based on the kind of content that you’ve been engaging with, in the hope that you’ll be entertained by them. (We hope you know us as well as you think Insta).

If you’re wanting to engage with videos posted by others, this is done almost exactly as you would on any other post- comment, share or like by tapping the desired icons at the bottom left of each Reel. When creating a Reel yourself for the very first time, it may be useful to know that music is selected using the “Audio” icon where you can choose your own music or select from Instagram’s music library. You can also select which portion of the song you’d like to use for your reel. The audio icon along with speed, effects, and timer icons will show up on the left of your reel screen.

Make use of video editing tools including stickers, drawing and text to boost your reel appeal. The timer icon when clicked, allows you to select your timer via a slider tool which will show as a countdown when you hit record. Speed will allow you to speed up or play your video in slow motion. The effects icon allows you to select from saved effects or, if you scroll to the far right of the tab, you can browse Instagram’s effects gallery for a creative spin.

After you’ve recorded your reel, you’ll be presented with a bin and arrow icon, here you can preview, trim or delete your reel. Stickers, text and drawings can be added to your reel in preview mode whilst the slider at the bottom allows you to choose how long you’d like your visual effects to show on screen.

If you’re happy with your preview and ready to show your following what you’re capable of, hit that white arrow on the bottom right of your screen. You’ll be guided to the caption page where you can include a little snippet of text to accompany your video. You can now select your cover photo by clicking on the rectangular frame situated on the top right of your screen titled “Cover”- choose from your own gallery or a frame within your reel. You can share your reel to your story by sliding over to the stories tab and clicking “Share” to your story.

If you’d like to share your reel on your home feed, make sure the “Also share to feed” option is clicked blue. Once you’ve shared your masterpiece, you can find it on your home page by clicking on the center icon of your home feed. That’s pretty much it- with your new knowledge and a little practice, we can’t wait to see what reel surprises you have in store for us. Enjoy reeling!

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