Instagram Reels: How To Use The New Video Feature?

Instagram Reels in Hong Kong

Launched in Hong Kong for a while, Instagram Reels have become a trend for using Instagram. Additionally, Facebook Reels has launched globally and is a new way for creators to make money. Many influencers are using Instagram Reels to create their unique content such as beauty tutorials, OOTD videos and workout videos. We discussed the background, overview, and successful examples of using Instagram Reels to market brands in our previous article. This article will focus more on features, functionality, and how to use Instagram Reels.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a new dedicated feed that allows users to create and share videos up to 60-second while videos on Facebook Reels are under 30 seconds. Instagram Reels provides users with a set of creative tools to create fun, engaging short videos on Instagram. Record and edit multi-clip Reels videos with audio, text, special effects, and stickers in 60-second increments.

Similar to Facebook Reels, which also make fun and inspiring short videos consisting of music, audio, AR effects, text overlays. Your Reels are shared directly to your fans in their core News Feed and to new audiences in a dedicated Reels section in News Feed that gives people who are new to you the opportunity to discover and enjoy your creations.


What are the differences between Instagram Reels, IG Story & Tiktok ?

Instagram Reels VS IG Story

You might be confused between Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories and wonder which one is better for your feed and content. Even though they sound a lot like each other, they have some key differences.

Reels offers several creative tools, including AR effects, speed controls, and the option to align multi-clip videos for cleaner transitions. Reels offer a set of editing tools that allow users to create engaging and fun video footage and can include multiple video clips, filters, captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers and more.

Story only allows users to share photos and videos to their Story with limited features such as Text Create, Boomerang, Layout, Photo-booth, Multi-capture and Level. Users can use different filters, stickers, ask questions and add music to their Story.

Instagram stories only last for 24 hours and you can create highlights for your stories afterwards. Reels can be featured in Explore and shared to Stories. You can choose to post a Reel to your feed when you upload it. All of your Reels will be saved in a separate section of your profile, similar to how IGTV posts are saved. If you include original audio, it will be credited to you, and other users will be able to use it to make new Reels.

Instagram Reels VS TikTok

Since Instagram Reels and TikTok are similar and they are rivals too, it’s worth discussing how they’re similar, and how they are different.

Instagram Reels and TikTok have the same goal: to provide users with a creative space where they can create and share short videos with others. They have creative options that allow users to make the best clips possible.

They do, however, differ significantly, as shown below:

1) Video Length

For Reels, Video time limits up to 60s. For Tiktok, Video time is limited to 3 minutes. Reels' 60 second limit gives it a distinct advantage. It restricts users to short, simple messages and how-tos, whereas TikTok's 3-minute limit allows for mini series that span multiple parts.

2) Nature

Reels are a feature inside the Instagram ecosystem while TikTok is a platform for users to create videos.

3) Storage

Reels shared to Stories will disappear after 24 hours while all videos stay on TikTok.

4) Analytics

Instagram has always had a difficult to navigate and changeable algorithm, and Reels has yet to develop one for this type of content that is as clear or effective as TikTok's. TikTok's appeal to Gen Z and Millennials stems in part from how simple it is to go viral and become a monetised influencer. TikTok also gives more in-depth insights into your audience, whereas Reels just adds to Instagram's standard analytics.


How to create IG Reels ?

Instagram Reels have been a fantastic way for brands and businesses to flex their creative muscles and add a visual experience beyond a grid post since their inception.

In four easy steps, you can make your first Instagram Reels:

  1. Storyboard Ideas

  2. Shoot and edit Instagram Reel

  3. Preview and Add Effects

  4. Share Instagram Reel

Instagram Reels 6 functions:

Select Reels from the Instagram camera's bottom menu. On the left side of your screen, you'll find a variety of creative editing tools to aid in the creation of your Reels.


Search Instagram Reels videos using song titles in the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by making a reel out of it. Your audio will be attributed to you when you share a reel with original audio, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting "Use Audio" from your reel.


The length can be set to 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds.


You can choose to speed up or slow down a portion of the video or audio. This can assist you in keeping a steady beat or creating slow motion videos.


The layout feature is customisable and you can pick from vertical or horizontal layouts as well as from a grid of 3 horizontal windows.

Timer and Countdown:

Set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.

AR Effects:

You can browse effects in the effect gallery and sort them by category and topic. Unless the effect represents a business, effects will appear in the effect gallery under the corresponding category and may also appear in the main tab.


Help create seamless transitions for moments like outfit changes or adding new friends to your reel, line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next.

How to insert special effects ?

For Instagram reels, there are a plethora of camera effects and filters to choose from. When you record a video in reels, you have the option of selecting an effect. You'll see the filters you've saved on Instagram, as well as some other popular and suggested camera effects to use on your reels. What if you already have a video on your phone that you want to edit with Instagram filters? Here's how to go about it.

  1. Tap the + plus button at the top and then go to Reels. This will take you to the reels camera.

  2. Now open the video that you want to apply the Instagram filter to from your camera roll. After you've chosen your video, click Add, then tap the Preview button. After that, you'll go to the editor screen.

  3. Select the effects icon at the top (three stars or smiley emoji)

  4. At the bottom, you'll notice a variety of effects. The live preview will appear when you click on the effect. To change them, move your cursor to the left. Simply select the filter you want to apply to your video.

  5. By clicking the download icon at the top, you can post the video to your Instagram reels or save it to your phone.

How to insert music, voiceover & sound effect ?

  1. Tap the camera icon in the top right corner to create a Reel

  2. Hold the record button to create a Reel, edit it using your initial editing options, and then tap "Preview"

  3. You'll have more editing tools at the top of the Preview screen. Tap the audio control tool that looks like a music note

  4. Tap "Effects" in your audio controls, and pick whichever effect you want to add to your voice

  5. Choose to add music to the short film,Voiceover and adding special sound effects, you can then adjust the volume separately.


IG Reels Performance metrics

Users can see new metrics for Reels, such as Plays, Accounts Reached, Likes, Comments, Saves, and Shares. Users can get complete pictures of performance of the post such as Accounts Reached, Peak Concurrent Viewers, Comments, and Shares during Live.

Source: Instagram

Accounts Reached: How many Instagram users saw your Reel.

Plays: The exact number of times your Reel has been played.

Likes: How many users liked your Reel.

Comments: The number of comments.

Shares: How many Instagram users shared your Reel with another Instagram user or on Instagram Stories.

Saves: The amount of times your Reel was saved.

IG Reels Performance metrics can aid in the development of more engaging content strategies and the making of better creative decisions. On a higher level, this can assist you in better understanding your audience and allocating your time and resources to tactics that are effective for them.

As for clients, Reels could be a very useful tool for brand marketing. To learn more successful cases and ways to use Reels for marketing, please refer to our previous article.


KOLs/Celebrities Instagram Reels Examples

More and more micro-influencers, KOLs and celebrities are starting to try this new feature. Let's take a look at how they use Instagram Reels and get some inspiration.

*All image captures are from Instagram.


Now that Reels has been in development for a few months, the various features are very attractive for creators to make amazing and unique short videos. Reels not only brings freshness to old Reels users, but also provides new marketing strategies and potential business opportunities for different companies on Instagram

Whatever your brand or business, there’s a creative opportunity waiting for you with Instagram Reels! Spread-it has also launched IG Reels service, if you want to know more about our services, offers, how to use IG Reels or other social media platforms to increase brand awareness / promote your products. Please do not hesitate to contact us!