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Reeling From TikTok’s Success
March 2020

By Sophie Haugen

Welcome to the world of short-form video, where 15 seconds of footage could gain you viral success in the form of likes, followers and online fame.

In a bid to keep up with Chinese social adversary TikTok, and its 1.5 billion users, Instagram has launched its own video-remix feature; Reels.

Currently, on trial in Brazil, Reels offers Instagram users the ability to create 15-second video clips set to music, audio or silence (awkward) – to then be posted on its Stories platform, which has already proven a success with half a million daily viewers.



Tell me more

You will find Reels – a new camera mode – sandwiched between Boomerang and Super-Zoom in Stories. When creating your video, you can adjust the speed, add a Ghost overlay, use a timed caption and set the video to the app’s huge catalogue of music, or borrow audio from someone else’s video. Sound familiar? Think TikTok’s Duet feature.

So, you’re ready to post. Once you’ve edited your material, you can either share your clip in Stories or send it as a DM. You also have the option to post to Top Reels – a new section in Instagram’s Explore Tab – enabling your video the potential to go viral.


When can I try it?

It’s not all post, post, post. As mentioned, Instagram is the first test-casing Reels in Brazil, where it has called the feature “Cenas”. Brazil has a strong Instagram following and rich musical culture, offering the perfect demographic to trial the feature.

So, with this popular format already acknowledged as a winning formula, Reels looks set to go global in 2020. The question is, can it really offer its customers a unique experience that is different enough and better than TikTok? Only time – specifically 15 seconds – will tell.

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