What you need to know
- Instagram has announced major changes to how you create and collaborate using reels.
- New video posts will be shared as reels in the coming weeks.
- Public photos will also be available for remixes, along with a bunch of new layouts and features.
Instagram is becoming a lot more like TikTok in an aggressive effort to win back young eyeballs. The Meta-owned platform has announced that new video posts will be shared as reels in the coming weeks.
The upcoming change will automatically convert new videos uploaded to the platform into reels in an obvious attempt to further give TikTok a run for its money. As a result, the video and Reels tabs on your profile will be merged into one tab.
Fortunately, videos that are longer than 15 minutes and those that you've posted beforehand won't be affected by the change. If your account is public, Instagram may show reels under 90 seconds to anyone it deems interested in your content using its suggestion algorithm.
"Since reels offer a more immersive and entertaining way to watch and create videos on Instagram, we’re bringing these creative tools and the full-screen experience to your video posts, too," Meta said in a blog post (opens in new tab).
You can also remix these reels by inserting your own clip after the original video to give your two cents on any topic. This is made possible by Instagram's expanded tools within Remix, its version of TikTok's Duet.
Speaking of new tools, Instagram users will be able to remix public photos in the next few weeks, giving them plenty of media to use in addition to videos. The service is also making it easier to create new reels using new Remix layouts, including a green screen, a split screen, and a picture-in-picture reaction view. The last one allows you to add your own take on an existing reel you wish to annotate.
Instagram also wants you to use its preloaded audio and clip placeholders in templates designed to allow you to create new reels more easily. Simply tap the camera icon on the Reels tab to search for templates. And if you want to record certain content and your reaction at the same time, the new Dual feature will let you use the front and back cameras of your Android phone simultaneously via the dedicated Instagram camera.
Meta's latest investments in Instagram come a few days after it introduced new features meant to help creators make money from their reels. Creators can also use exclusive chats and posts to monetize their content.
These changes highlight Instagram's growing ambition to eat into TikTok's audience by adding new ways to collaborate using reels. However, it remains to be seen whether the new features will enable Instagram to make a dent on TikTok's market share.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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