Instagram Reel: what it is, how it is created and why it is different from TikTok

In recent weeks we hear more and more about Instagram Reel , the new video feature launched on the platform to better compete with TikTok.

Once again, as happened with Snapchat, Zuckerberg manages to extrapolate an interesting function from his competitor and lead to success. We’ve seen him do this before, and now history could repeat itself with Reel.

On the other hand, it is certainly no coincidence that Instagram offered users the new video sharing option just as TikTok began to experience a difficult time.

The tough decisions of the governments of Australia and India, which have decided to ban the Chinese App, and the complaints of large companies about the security of user data have only paved the way for the arrival of Instagram Reel .

But what is it really about? How does this new option work? And how does it differ from TikTok? Let’s find out together.

What is Instagram Reel?

You could define Reel as a sort of App in the App, but it is certainly easier to say that it is a feature that allows you to record and share 15-second videos – otherwise known as ” Reels “-, with the possibility of adding graphic effects and musical backgrounds. In short, the functionality that made TikTok famous all over the world.

Instagram Reel

In the case of Instagram, however, the videos will appear directly in the user’s profile , in a special section dedicated to Reels. And, like the other contents, they will be visible both in the main Feed and in the Explore section of the platform.

Having clarified what it is, let’s now see how it works.

How to create a Reel?

As you can imagine, to better compete with TikTok, Zuckerberg’s platform has tried to design a functionality as simple and intuitive as possible. To access Instagram Reel, in fact, just access the camera and select “Reel” at the bottom.

At this point, on the left side of the screen, you will see all the creative tools you can use to create your content. There are four options available to you:

  • Audio, which allows you to add background music to your video, either by choosing a track from the Instagram library or by uploading your own audio. In the latter case, the audio will be attributed to your profile and other users will be able to use it for their Reels simply by selecting the “Use Audio” item from your content. Of course, this option is only valid if you have a public profile open to everyone
  • Speed ​​, which gives you the possibility to speed up or slow down a part of the video or audio of your Instagram Reel
  • Effects , the tool that allows you to use augmented reality filters and effects to create unique and original content
  • Timer , which allows you to set a timer to record your video without having to hold your smartphone in your hand. Just set the duration of the content and then press the “Record” button. The countdown will start automatically and you can record in total peace of mind.
Instagram Reel

Once you’ve found the creative tool that best suits your needs, you can start recording. Indeed, Instagram Reel also gives you the possibility to create multiple contents in sequence, so as to assemble them together to form an original and impactful content.

Of course, as with the Stories, holding down the “Record” button you will see the recording progress. Just leave it to interrupt it and, if you want, start a new one.

How to share a Reel?

As anticipated, Instagram Reel allows you to share your content both in the main Feed of the platform and in the Explore section, thus allowing you to expand your following and make yourself known to the community. It all depends on the type of your profile.

If you have a public profile then you can share your video both in the Explore section and in your Feed. Conversely, if your profile is private, the platform allows you to share it exclusively on the Feed, so as to make it visible only to your followers.

With that clarified, let’s figure out how to share your Reel. Once registration is complete, you will be faced with a sharing screen, which will allow you to choose a cover image for the video, add a caption , tag friends and insert hashtag A hashtag is a label for words or phrases, typical of social networks. Help others interested in a topic quickly find content about that topic … .

From this same screen you can also choose whether to share your video as a Story, making it visible for only 24 hours.

In any case, once you have entered all the relevant information, your Reel will be published in the appropriate section of your profile. And in the Explore section, if you like.

Instagram Reel

Instagram Reel vs TikTok: what are the differences?

Although Instagram Reel has taken a cue from TikTok in all respects, there are some substantial differences between the two platforms. Starting with the fact that Reel would seem to be more of an Instagram feature rather than a real platform.

But beyond that, there are substantial differences when it comes to sharing content.

Starting with video length : up to 15 seconds for Instagram Reel, and up to 60 seconds for TikTok. But the layout of the content creation screen also appears to be slightly different, although the tools available are almost the same.

In any case, if you are very careful, you will notice that these creation options are located on the right side of the screen in the TikTok App, but on the left in the Instagram one.

But let’s go further. The Chinese App offers the incredible duet functionality, allowing you to create real video collaborations, placing two different recordings side by side.

This is an option that has been incredibly successful on TikTok, but which Instagram Reel temporarily lacks.

Beyond this, there is a fundamental detail that marks the sensational difference between the two platforms. To view the contents of TikTok you don’t need an account at all. Conversely, to access Reel you must have an Instagram profile.

And this is a rather important difference, because it makes us understand that users may be more enticed to use TikTok precisely because of its greater flexibility in using content. A detail not to be underestimated.

Here another big difference emerges, namely that Instagram is a Social Network which is therefore based on the bonds and connection between users, while TikTok is to be considered as a platform for use and creation of content.

Finally, it must be considered that the Chinese App boasts two different types of Feed: the “For you”, within which you will find the contents suggested by the platform based on your interests, and that of the ” Followed “, where you can view the videos of the users you follow.

Conversely, as you know, Instagram Reel has only one type of Feed, which is the same as the entire platform. This means that if you want to see the Reels of someone you don’t follow, you have to search for their profile every time.

And while the “Explore” section can be considered an alternative to TikTok’s “For You” Feed, we certainly can’t say it’s the same thing.

In short, similar yes, but totally the same no.

And you’ve already started experimenting with Reels in your plan digital marketing ?

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