A Beginner's Guide to Instagram Reels

A Beginner's Guide to Instagram Reels

You can now create and share short, entertaining video clips on Instagram with Instagram Reels. The feature will let you shoot, edit and piece together clips to create a fun 15-second video, which you can share with anyone on the popular social media platform.

Find out more about Instagram Reels, and learn how to make your own, below.

Instagram Reels: Key features

As it’s a feature built directly into Instagram, you won't need to download additional software to use Instagram Reels. Unlike Boomerang and Layout, you can make your own reels simply by heading to your profile, tapping the + symbol and choosing Reels.

There are a few distinct features which set Instagram Reels apart from existing modes like IGTV and Stories. Each reel will have a 15-second time limit, and you'll have the option to upload original audio files to play alongside your video. Other users will even be able to reuse your audio and you can use audio created by your favourite Instagram accounts too.


You'll also find a number of unique tools exclusive to Reels. For example, there's a timer to help you record clips hands-free and a countdown button that will activate 3 seconds before recording starts, to help you get into position. Instagram has also added speed tools to help you slow down or speed up clips, loads of fun AR effects and a tool to help you piece together multiple clips to create exciting transitions.

When it comes to sharing your reel, you can either add it to an Instagram Story or upload it to your Instagram feed. If you choose to add a reel to a Story, it'll be permanently deleted after 24 hours. If you'd prefer to save your reel, upload it to your feed instead - it'll be visible to your followers, and accessible from its own unique Reels tab on your profile.

Where to watch Reels

If you're looking for some inspiration, you can view reels created by other users in a few different ways.

The first way to find a reel is by simply scrolling down your Instagram feed. If someone you follow has created a reel, it'll show up here. You'll be able to distinguish it from a regular Instagram video by the small Reels icon, located on the bottom-left corner of the post.

If you're looking for exciting new accounts to follow instead, head to the Explore tab. There'll be a new reel at the top of the Explore page, and as you scroll more reels will appear. Featured reels - promoted and chosen by Instagram - will have their own distinct label.

Alternatively, you can discover new reels by clicking on the audio name or hashtag of an existing reel. For example, if you really like a sound someone else has used, just tap the audio name and you'll instantly be able to view other reels that use the same audio clip.


How to use Instagram Reels

Instagram has made sure Reels is a user-friendly feature, and even those new to the platform itself will be able to make a reel without any trouble. To begin, open your profile and tap +, then Reels.

When it comes to creating footage, you'll have two options. You can either press and hold the record button to capture footage within the app, or you can choose an existing video from your camera roll. Whatever you use, you'll need to make sure you include the following steps.

• Once you've opened the Reels interface, press Timer if you'd like to create multiple clips in your reel. From here, you can set how long you want your very first clip to be. Choose from 0.1 seconds to 15 seconds.

• If you're interested in applying one of Instagram's AR effects to a new video, you should also make sure you select the effect before hitting record.

• As for audio, you can add this before or after you record/upload your first clip. Just select Audio, find your favourite sound and press apply. If you'd only like the sound to play for a section of your video, you can trim it down.

• To be able to experiment with speed, you'll need to have your first video clip ready. Tap .3x or .5x to slow things down, or 2x or 3x to speed things up.

• The Align button will only appear to users who want to use more than one clip in their reel. Once you create your second clip, you'll be able to position it carefully to ensure it follows on seamlessly from the first clip. This is a must if you want to line up audio correctly, or magically switch your outfit in a flash.

• To delete or watch a clip, just tap on it and use the range of editing tools available.

• Once you've finalised your video clip, you'll be able to add text, stickers and annotations.

How to share a finished Reel

Sharing a reel is even easier than making one. As soon as you've finished adding text or annotations, all you need to do is select the Next button.

From here, you'll see the Share page. You can set a cover for your reel at this stage, either by choosing a thumbnail from your reel, or uploading an existing photo from your camera roll. You'll also be able to add a caption to accompany your reel here.

If you're posting on a private account, your reel will only be visible to your followers on their Instagram feed. If your account is set to public however, you can either share the post exclusively to your feed, or choose a dedicated space on the Explore page. If you want your reel to be viewed by as many people as possible, Instagram recommends the Explore option.

If you're not ready to share your clip immediately, you can save your reel as a draft instead.

And that's it, a basic guide to Instagram Reels. If you need a new handset to bring all your reels to life, make sure you take a look at the great Android and iPhone deals available right here at Mobiles.co.uk.