Reels is a content type that has been around on Instagram for a while. But if you are a new content creator on the platform, you probably wonder, what is a Reel on Instagram?

Do not worry, we got you covered. This article will explain how Reels work and how to make them. At the end of this article, you will also learn a few tips to get more views for your Reels.

So, if you want to diversify your Instagram content, read on!

What Is A Reel on Instagram?

Reels refer to the short-form videos on Instagram. These clips can go from 15 seconds to 90 seconds long.

Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels do not disappear within 24 hours. Once you publish a Reel, it is always available unless deleted and can be accessed anytime by visiting the Reels tab in your profile.

Creating Reels is easy and encourages your creativity. You can combine multiple clips, edit playback speed, add effects, and insert music, among other things. Due to that reason, Reels is a great tool for various purposes, from publishing short vlogs to showcasing products.

That is a brief explanation about what is a Reel on Instagram. Now how do you find Reels on the social platform?

Reels from accounts that you follow show up in your home feed along with regular Instagram posts. But the home feed also suggests Reels from accounts that you do not follow. The kinds of suggested videos are based on the content that you often interact with.

Apart from the home feed, suggested Reels also appear in the dedicated Reels tab at the bottom of the screen. This tab gives you an endless feed of videos to explore and find inspiration from.

Now that you are aware of what is a Reel on Instagram, let’s see how it compares to its main competitor, TikTok.

Instagram Reels vs TikTok

If you think Reels sound akin to TikTok videos, that is not wrong. Instagram and TikTok share many similarities, including the content format and editing capabilities. That being said, the two also have key differences, such as:

  • Music library: Instagram users cannot use copyrighted songs in Reels, whereas TikTok does not impose that restriction. That gives TikTok users a wider selection of songs to choose from for their content.
  • Video duration: After reading the answer for “what is a Reel on Instagram?”, you know that Reels are limited to only 90 seconds long. However, TikTok videos can be up to 10 minutes, which gives users more room for the type of content to produce.
  • Audience demographics: According to a study, Instagram’s users are dominated by people of age 25 to 34. TikTok’s audience, on the other hand, is more popular among teenagers.
  • Advertising options: Instagram allows users to boost Reels as an advertisement, which appear alongside organic Reels. Meanwhile, TikTok ads come in multiple options, including in-feed ads, branded hashtag challenge, and branded effects.

Now you have learned about what is a Reel on Instagram and how it compares to TikTok. Regardless of the differences, both Reels and TikTok are powerful platforms for publishing short videos. Read our article about Reels vs TikTok to know more about their advantages and drawbacks.

How to Make A Reel on Instagram

Creating Instagram Reels is easy. Let’s make a simple Reel by following the steps below:

1. Open the Instagram app and tap the plus icon at the bottom middle of your screen.

2. In the next page, select Reels at the bottom of the screen.

3. Choose a pre-recorded clip to upload or record a new one. For this tutorial, we will record a video by tapping Camera from the menu.

4. Before shooting, you may set the duration of the video like what we mentioned during the explanation for “what is a Reel on Instagram?” by tapping the tools on the left side of your screen. These tools also control other aspects of the Reel, including playback speed and effects.

5. Tap and hold the record button at the bottom middle of the screen to shoot your video. Release the button to stop shooting.

6. Once you stop recording, the Reel editing screen will show up. Here, you can trim your clip and stitch it with other footage to create a whole video. Also, you can add creative elements, including texts, music, and effects like what we mentioned while explaining what is a Reel on Instagram. To finish editing, tap Next at the bottom-right corner.

7. Tap the Reel cover preview to edit the thumbnail. Otherwise, Instagram will use a snapshot of your clip as the cover, which does not look good. Editing the thumbnail allows you to choose a different snapshot or upload a picture. Tap Done at the top-right corner once you are finished.

8. Tweak your publishing settings as needed. These settings include captions, hashtags, locations, and more. 

9. Publish your Reel by tapping Next at the bottom-right corner of the screen.

So far you have learned what is a Reel on Instagram and how to create one. Now let’s look at some tips to get a better result from your Reels.

Read: Best Reels Apps

Instagram Reels Tips for Creators & Businesses

Whether you are a content creator or a brand owner, being able to attract viewers to your Reels is the top priority. It enables you to build a following, which can be turned to fans or customers.  Here are some tips that you can do to get more views:

1. Understand How Instagram’s Algorithm Works

You have not finished learning what is a Reel on Instagram without understanding how the platform suggests content to its users. It is important since you can reach more audiences if your Reels get recommended.

Instagram’s algorithm is always due to change, but it remains using engagement as one of the main factors to recommend Reels. So, videos that have lots of likes and comments are more likely to end up in front of users’ Explore and Reels tab.

Apart from that, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes relevancy and recency. It means that the platform favors newer content and considers the hashtags used in Reels’ captions.

2. Post At The Right Time

After knowing what is a Reel on Instagram, you need to figure out the best time to post your videos to get the most viewers at a time. Some studies show that between 9AM and 12PM on Monday to Thursday is the answer.

However, that is only the average data among various niches. It is recommended to identify your audience’s prime time using the data from Instagram Insights, which we will explain a bit more later.

3. Add Subtitles for Accessibility

Now that you have learned what is a Reel on Instagram, it is essential to realize that a portion of your target audience may require accessibility. 

Considering accessibility is another key to Reels success. By including subtitles to your clips, you expand the reach to people who have hearing impairment and those who like to watch without the audio on.

Thankfully, adding and synchronizing subtitles with your Reels is easy. Add the captions sticker to your video and it will transcribe the audio for you.

Read: How to Download Instagram Reels

4. Use Hashtags Wisely

Understanding how to choose hashtags is the next step in learning about what is a Reel on Instagram. They help the algorithm to understand the topic of your Reels, which is necessary for recommending content to the right viewers.

While Instagram allows for up to 30 hashtags per post and Reel, it is better to limit your choice between 5 to 10. Doing so ensures that you pick the most relevant hashtags for the Reels’ topic.

On top of that, you should use both popular and niche hashtags. Popular hashtags can expose you to a wide range of audience, while niche hashtags offer the ability to target specific viewers.

5. Use Trending Audio Clips or Music

When learning about what is a Reel on Instagram, you should know that taking advantage of a trending song can help increase views. How is that possible, you may ask?

As explained in the first Reels tips on this list, Instagram’s algorithm uses various factors to decide which content to recommend. The use of trending music or audio clips is one of these parameters.

On top of that, viewers can tap the song title in a Reel to explore other videos that use the same audio clip. So, one of your tasks after learning what is a Reel on Instagram is to find out the latest popular songs used by other content creators.

If you discover an audio clip that shows up in many different Reels, it is most likely on the trend. But you can also spot popular songs by the arrow icon next to their title as shown in the screenshot below:

6. Make Use of Instagram Insights

How do you know whether your Reels succeeded? Reels show the number of likes and comments they get, but that is it. To dig deeper into how Reels perform, you need to be familiar with Instagram Insights after learning about what is a Reel on Instagram.

Insights is the built-in analytics tool that Instagram offers. When it comes to Reels, Insights show more than just comments and likes. It tells you how many times a Reel has been played and the number of people who watched it.

Apart from that, Insights count how many times your Reel is shared and saved. If these two metrics are high, it means that your video is entertaining or valuable enough for viewers.

To access Insights, open a Reel and tap the three-dot menu at the bottom right corner. Then, tap Insights.

Read: Instagram Post Size

What Is A Reel on Instagram: Conclusion

Now you know that Reels are short videos on Instagram. These clips are accessible at all times unlike Stories and can be found along regular posts. Nevertheless, you can also discover new Reels by visiting the Reels tab.

To create Reels, you can either shoot a video or upload a pre-recorded one. There is also an option to stitch multiple shots together for a more dynamic result. Furthermore, you can add effects, stickers, and music to make your video more interesting.

We hope that this article helps you to understand what is a Reel on Instagram. If you liked it, subscribe to our blog for more insights about content creation!


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