Reels is Instagram’s short-form video platform that launched to little fanfare, but has bolstered the app’s growth over time.

Instagram launched Reels a few years ago, its own short-form video platform to compete with TikTok.Users can watch reels on Instagram’s Reels tab, Explore page, and in their own feeds.Instagram later announced it would publish virtually all video posts under 15 minutes as reels. 

Reels, Instagram’s short-form video platform designed to rival TikTok, has become a key driver of both Instagram and Meta’s growth since its rocky launch in 2020.

The feature, which has drawn criticism for the large quantity of reshared or cross-posted TikTok content, has grown more sophisticated over time as the Instagram algorithm has shifted from prioritizing photo-based content to video.

Reels offers many of the same video tools as TikTok — such as video effects, an audio library, and other editing features. Like traditional Instagram photos and videos, reels can be shared seamlessly through in-app features like stories, chats, and threads, as well as through Meta’s other platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

What are reels on Instagram?

Reels are Instagram’s platform for short-form videos — they’re often brief, creative, and accessible through an algorithm-powered feed similar to TikTok’s For You Page. 

You can watch reels in your own feed, through the Explore page, or through the Reels tab in the navigation bar of the Instagram App.

You can access Instagram’s Reels feature through the button on the navigation bar of your home screen.

You can also film or upload reels of your own by creating a new post and selecting “REELS” from the list of options.

When you film or upload your own reel, you can play around with Reels features like audio, effects, green screen, and other editing features.

Reels created through this option can be up to 90 seconds long; however, in 2022, Instagram announced that virtually all video posts under 15 minutes long would be shared as reels. So pretty much any video you post to the platform will automatically become a reel. 

Who can see my reels?

If your Instagram account is public, anyone on Instagram can see — and share or download — your reels, whether it’s through their main feed, the Reels tab, or the Explore page.

Your reel can also be downloaded or remixed by other users, though you can disable these options by adjusting your account settings. 

If your Instagram account is private, only your followers will be able to see your reels. Whatever audio or text your reel includes will also remain private.

Unlike Instagram stories or Facebook stories, you won’t be able to see who views your Instagram reels. Likewise, other users will not be able to see that you viewed their reels.

What is the difference between reels and video posts?

When Instagram first launched Reels in 2020, users were confined to 15-second videos. So users would have to opt for a standard video post if they wanted to upload longer content. 

This sparked debate over which type of video was better, and for what type of content — reels were seen as ideal for short, snappy, highly entertaining or humorous content, whereas standard video posts or IGTV videos were better for longer, in-depth, educational content.

But reels and video posts are now functionally the same thing, since 2022, when Instagram integrated reels and videos and dropped IGTV. Now, all video posts under 15 minutes are published as reels, and users can use Reels features like audio and editing tools for all videos.

What’s new for reels?

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg attended a Senate hearing in January 2024 about children’s safety online.

Reels, however, has grown highly successful in recent years since the pandemic era, when TikTok threatened to eclipse Instagram entirely. In 2023, Instagram had a resurgence and outpaced TikTok in growth and downloads. 

Instagram and Meta also stand to benefit immensely if the US implements a TikTok ban — Reels is perfectly situated to snap up any displaced TikTok users. 

However, it’s not entirely smooth sailing — like many Meta products, Reels has come under fire for its impact on children and teenagers.

In 2023, 33 states filed a lawsuit against Meta, accusing it of ignoring warnings about potential harm to young girls. The lawsuit also claims Meta knew about millions of accounts that were opened by kids under 13 but didn’t shut them down.

Specifically, an investigation found the Reels algorithm delivered a “toxic” mix of content to adults who follow children and teenage content creators.

In a statement to Business Insider, Meta said: “We don’t want this kind of content on our platforms and brands don’t want their ads to appear next to it. We continue to invest aggressively to stop it — and report every quarter on the prevalence of such content, which remains very low.”

And CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not been oblivious to the criticism.

At a congressional hearing in January 2024, Zuckerberg apologized to the parents of children who suffered sexual exploitation or online abuse on social media platforms, and promised industry-wide change. 

“No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered, and this is why we invested so much,” Zuckerberg said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

By

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: