Instagram, on June 8, announced that it was officially rolling out ‘Reels’ in India. Reels is Instagram’s short video feature in India.
The new feature lets users create a video, add creative filters and music from Instagram’s catalogue and share it on the platform with their followers. Users can also share Reels in Explore as well as on Feed with their followers. Reels is like TikTok and allows users to create 15 seconds video with popular songs, trends, or challenges.
According to reports, the Facebook-owned platform officially started testing it last year. And the format has already launched in various countries including Brazil, France, and Germany. India is the fourth country where this new Instagram video feature is getting tested. This development also comes on heels of Facebook shutting down its TikTok clone Lasso about a year and a half after its launch.
Instagram Reels: How to get started?
Reels option is appended to the Instagram camera like Boomerang, among others. To start users will initially need to open the Instagram camera and select Reels to begin making 15 seconds video. Like TikTok, Reels provide options like audio from Instagram Music library, effects, speed, and timer.
After recording a Reel, users can easily choose the audience they want to share their Reel with. Unlike general Instagram Stories, Reels can be shared in the Explore section and seen by everyone on the platform.
Reels also provide different AR (Augmented Reality) effects to help users add a unique feel to their videos. To include required effects in videos, open Reels camera, click on ‘effects’ and then AR effects.
A user can record multiple 15 seconds Reels at once, and add various effects to each clip. Reels can also be reviewed, re-recorded, and deleted if required.
Similar to TikTok, Reels offer a ‘Use Audio’ option which will allow others to use your original audio to create their Reels.
How to create Instagram Reels?
- Select ‘Reels’ option at the bottom of the Instagram camera.
- Click on Audio option and search a song from the Instagram music library for the Reel.
- You can likewise use your own original audio by merely recording a Reel with it similar to TikTok.
- You can add AR Effect to make Reel attractive and different from others and can also set the timer to record any clips hands-free.
- There’s also an option to slow down or speed up part of the video or audio.
Facebook has previously integrated similar features from competing apps into its own services to better compete with them. In 2016 we reported that Instagram’s Stories feature was a “near-perfect copy” of Snapchat’s, for example. In audio leaked last year, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted TikTok’s similarity to Instagram’s Explore tab. It indicates that it may play host to part of the company’s attempts to compete with its Chinese rival.
Union Home Ministry, on June 29, banned 59 Chinese applications, including the video-sharing application TikTok. According to reports, Center take this decision after it got numerous complaints from different sources about the misuse of these apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unapproved way to servers which have locations outside India. However, the decision left TikTokers as well as numerous others in a ‘deep state of shock’.
Following the ban of TikTok, India’s short video apps like Chingari, Roposo, Mitron, and Bolo Indya are witnessing unprecedented demand as people are looking for alternative apps. This has also led to the entry of several new players like ShareChat’s Moj and Zee5’s HiPi over the past month.
Author: Palak Gupta from Team Eduroutes