Meta is getting really into its Instagram Reels. The company has recently announced a heap of updates to Reels, the feature it launched in 2020 to compete with TikTok’s short video format.
“Today, we’re announcing new features to Instagram that make it more fun and easy to collaborate, create and share reels,” Meta shared in a release Thursday, July 21. The new updates will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
So, what’s in store? Well, you might’ve already seen — you’re now able to ‘Remix this photo’, collaborating with other users to add your own spin on their Reels or photos (obviously, only if they’re public, of course). Essentially, “Remix” is Instagram’s answer to Tiktok’s Stitch and Duet features.
You can embed a new clip recorded alongside the existing Reel or after the original, weighing in on what the viewer just watched (in other words, giving them your hot take), copying what they did or doing whatever else you’re keen to do. To do this, you can use a green screen, horizontal or vertical split-screen, or picture-in-picture view to do the same too.
Also new is a Templates browser, which will give you inspo and let you easily create new Reels by preloading audio and clip placeholders you can simply add your own photos and video clips. Taking a page from new app BeReal’s book, Instagram is also launching a new camera tool, Dual, that’ll let you record using both your phone’s front and back cameras simultaneously.
Any video posts under 15 minutes will also be turned into Reels, though existing shared videos under 15 minutes won’t change. The video and Reels tabs on your profile will be consolidated into one on your profile so you’ll have one for all your video content.
As has recently been the case with Instagram’s new features, the more you use them and in the way they want, the more your content will be shown to potential new followers. If that’s what you’re after and your profile is public, Meta recommends you mostly upload Reels that are less than 90 seconds long.
At the end of June 2022, Meta changed the length restriction from 15 seconds to 90 seconds. It also updated its tech to let you upload your own audio for your video, provided the audio clip was at least five seconds long. Interactive stickers like polls, quizzes and emoji sliders were also made available for use in videos.