July 20, 2020 Last updated on December 3rd, 2020
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Introducing Instagram Reels 🥁

Last November, Instagram added Instagram Reels as a new functionality on the platform, in Brazil only, as a test. After a few months, they announced the expansion of the Reels feature to France, Germany and India-based users. Finally, they decided to roll it out globally very recently (August 5th)! 🎉

It is then very likely that you already noticed Reels while scrolling down your feed. 

Instagram Reels is a short-form video (15 seconds) coming with its own array of audio and visual effects as well as other new creative editing options.

If you’re thinking that these options are oddly reminding you of TikTok’s main feature, that’s no coincidence…

So, what is the reason behind Instagram launching the Reels feature? What are the benefits of it and, most importantly, how do you use it?

Keep reading to find out – in this article we’ll explore Instagram Reels from all angles!

How to Use Instagram Reels: A Step-By-Step Guide


Why is Instagram Launching the Reels feature?

This feature sounding familiar? I agree, it does look a lot like TikTok…! But that’s clever. Here’s why.

TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 of 2020. This growth is turning the platform into an attractive place for advertisers.

Adding TikTok-esque tools to Instagram may be a tactic to stop TikTok from gaining more market space. It could also be a way to encourage people to stick with Instagram instead of migrating to any other competitive platform.

Either way, with the Reels feature, Instagram is aligning its offer with the current trend: short, addictive video. 


The Reels feature represents an innovative video format with a high potential for visibility and reach, designed for a new generation of creators.

Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year, and yet, fewer people are watching TV. Instagram clearly had this data in mind when it decided to launch IGTV a few years ago. Today, it appears to still be a good enough argument to bet on video content again.

Why should you consider using Instagram Reels as a Business?

There are plenty of benefits to take from the new Reels feature on Instagram.

1. Users are kept on the platform instead of migrating to another service. It gives users the opportunity to increase their reach, but also generate sales, as 64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos.

2. Videos can be sent out to friends, shared on Instagram Stories, as well as in DMs and in the feed, increasing the potential for impressions across the platform.

3. Instagram Reels are featured in Explore, which is likely to improve discovery — therefore grow your visibility and presence on Instagram.

4. The ability to store Reels videos in a dedicated section of the platform allows to group all Reels content (except for Stories) in a single tab – just like IGTV content!

5. Video content is rising and represents a must for brands, as a driver of engagement.

6. Reels will allow brands to express creativity and authenticity in a whole new way.

In a nutshell, Instagram Reels represent a brand new window of possibilities on Instagram. The opportunity for brands to create engaging content on Instagram is forever growing – from reaching out to new audiences, to creating new types of content, Instagram is truly doing its utmost to keep brands on the platform.

If Reels becomes a success on Instagram, it is likely that a larger selection of editing options will be made available to brands and businesses to make creative and customized content, increase their engagement and make more money on Instagram

So, if your digital strategy does not already include video content, here is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Now, let’s get down to business. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to create your Reels on Instagram.

Get your phone ready! 🤳

How to Create a Video with Instagram Reels

You can create Instagram Reels in a few simple steps with a large range of editing possibilities.

  • Log into the app
  • Select “Reels” at the bottom of the Instagram camera.
  • Find the editing options on the left-hand side of the screen
  • Create your own, customized video from a wide range of creative editing tools such as:

Audio Content
Pick out a piece of music by searching for the title in the Instagram music library or by using your own audio while the video is being recorded.

Augmented Reality Effects
Select from Instagram’s library of Augmented Reality effects to record multiple clips with different effects.


Timer and countdown timer
Record all your clips without holding your phone with the help of the timer. After pressing the record button, you will see a countdown from 3 to 1, after which the recording of your clip will start for the time you have selected.


This option will help you create smooth transitions, such as between changing outfits or adding new friends to your Reel.

Speed up or slow down a portion of the video or audio you have selected.

  • Record the first clip by tapping and holding the record button. A progress indicator at the top of the screen will appear while recording.
  • Stop recording to end each clip.
  • Select the cover image of your video and add a caption, hashtags and/or mention your friends once your video is recorded.
  • Share your video or save it as a draft to edit it later!

Tahdah! Congrats, you just created your first Reel on Instagram! 🎉

Excited to see how your audience reacts already?
Let’s take a look at the native analytics of Reels.

How to measure the impact of Reels on your performance

Nothing beats analytics to measure your performance. Fact.

If you put your trust in analytics as much as we do at Iconosquare, you’ll be happy to know that Instagram’s got you covered.

Find out how your Reels have performed by going to the Reels section of your profile and tapping on the video of your choice, to see: 

  • Who engaged with your Reel: all the likes and comments are reported. 
  • How many times your video was played. Note: the figure reflects the number of times your video was started but it doesn’t take into account replays. 
  • If your Reel was added to Reels highlights.

From here, the more Reels you publish, the more results you will get to compare your performances, adjust, and repeat! I’d definitely recommend you test and try the feature to see what resonates with your audience.

💡 To go further: Looking to fully optimize your Instagram profile thanks to analytics?
Try out our free Instagram Audit tool and get a comprehensive report of your Instagram account’s performance, with expert tips to improve the areas you’re falling a bit flat!


For now, the Instagram Reels feature is only available in Brazil, France, Germany and India.

If and when Insta Reels rolls out to your area, take advantage of the feature and find out how it fits into your content strategy on Instagram. Chances are, it’ll serve your brand well!

Over to you, have you tried the Instagram Reels feature yet? We’d love your feedback on how you’re using it or planning to use it as a business!

About the author
Romane Regad

Romane Regad

Romane is a 360 Marketer sharing her best Instagram tips and tricks with both our English- and French-speaking audiences. When not busy with all things marketing, you can find her trying out new flavors of the world, surfing, doing yoga, and experimenting with all sorts of vegan recipes. A true life enthusiast is who she is!

More posts by Romane Regad

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