What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels were recently introduced in 2020 to users as a new way to create content. Learn all about this feature and the different ways you can use it to expand your audience. 


What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are much like TikTok Videos. They’re short videos that can be up to 30 seconds long, that also has a bunch of different ways to edit them. Whether it be different clips of video, captions, filters, or stickers, the way you decide to create your next Reel is totally up to you. 

You’ll notice that you can watch Instagram Reels on their own separate page within Instagram. If you want to watch some Reels to get an idea of what they are, click on the Reel icon that’s located at the bottom of your home screen in the Instagram app. 

Instagram Reel


How to Make an Instagram Reel

If you already have an idea of what Instagram Reels are and want to create your own, the process to do so is pretty easy – as long as you have an idea of what you want it to be. 

To begin creating an Instagram Reel, follow these steps:

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Click the “+” at the top of your screen.
  • Depending on the update you have on your phone, either click “Reel” from the drop-down menu or click “Reel” on the menu located at the bottom of your screen.
  • The screen you are now on is where you can create and edit your Reel. Choose a filter, add some music, or set a timer before you begin filming your content. 
  • If you post on Instagram frequently, the screen you’re on after you’re done filming will look familiar. Add a caption, sticker, or other drawings to your Reel before hitting the “Share” button. 

Instagram Music

Instagram Reel


How to Share an Instagram Reel

If you come across an Instagram Reel that you want to share with someone, you’ll treat it as you would if you were sending a regular direct message (DM). The process for it is pretty much the same, except you’re sending a video instead of a regular post. 

To share an Instagram Reel, follow these steps:

  • Open the Instagram app.
  • Find the Reel you want to share. 
  • Click on the arrow located on the right-hand side of the screen.
  • Search for the user you want to share the Reel with and click “Send.”

Instagram DM

If you want to see the message you sent after you click send, then go to your direct messages that are located at the top right-hand side of the home page on Instagram. 


What is the difference between Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels?

The main difference between an Instagram Story and an Instagram Reel is the concept of how long it stays on your profile. Stories only last 24 hours before they disappear, but Reels won’t go away unless you go in and delete them yourself. 

instagram story screen

Another difference is the kind of content they both usually follow. Instagram Stories are often used to show what is happening in real-time, like if you’re out to eat at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal. 

Instagram Reels focuses more on content creation, which often takes longer to film and edit. A good example of this is when users post a “A Day in the Life” video because they film multiple parts of their days and fit them into one clip. The idea is to show users what their days are like, rather than just taking a picture or two of things that go on. 



Instagram Reels are just another feature that was added to keep up with other social media platforms. Although most users prefer using TikTok over Reels, the option to use and watch them is still there. 

If you’re more focused on creating a solid platform with your Instagram account, then using the Reels feature is one way to create content that will stand out to your friends and followers. If you haven’t tried using this feature yet, next time you want to post something try creating a Reel instead of a regular post or story and see how well it does in terms of engagement!

Written by Lucia Summa


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