Technology

Instagram Rolls Out Reels, Its Answer to TikTok

TechnologyAug 10, 2020

Instagram Rolls Out Reels, Its Answer to TikTok

Introduced last Wednesday, the new feature allows users to create 15-second videos using a single shot or stitched-together clips.

Special effects, as seen at left, are one of the features of Instagram Reels, the app’s answer to TikTok that debuted last week. (Photo courtesy of Instagram.com)

Menlo Park, Calif.—Instagram has introduced a feature that allows user to create short, looping videos complete with music, filters and special effects, its answer to TikTok, which exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

Called Instagram Reels, it rolled out last Wednesday in the midst of uncertainty about TikTok’s future in the United States.

Reels works from the app’s camera function (top left of the screen when on the home page). Users simply slide over to Reels, then hit record.

On the left-hand side there are a handful of editing functions, including tools for controlling the speed, adding effects and timing the clip.

Reels are only 15 seconds long, but multiple clips can be stitched together to create a montage.

Examples of montages from some of Instagram’s most-followed users include actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba), who did one to promote her Honest company face masks, and model Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss), who strung together her best catwalk looks from over the years.

Reels live in a separate tab right above the main profile grid, where others will be able to see all the Reels a user has done.

The short videos also can live in the main profile grid if the user chooses to share them to their feed.

Duvall O’Steen, a communications strategist, senior consultant for Luxury Brand Group and co-author of the Creative Connecting column for National Jeweler, said on Friday she had not personally tried Reels yet, but would give much of the same advice she has for TikTok.

Use a tripod when filming to keep the camera steady and get better-quality video, and “keep it fun and lively.”

“This is not the place for classic jewelry video,” O’Steen said.

She also recommends creating custom or branded audio to go with the video. Retailers, for example, could use the music from their latest commercial.

More information about how to put together Reels is available on Instagram.com.

RELATED CONTENT: Creative Connecting—TikTok Tips
The launch of Instagram Reels came one day before U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing U.S. firms to stop doing business with both TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, and WeChat, a multi-purpose app developed by tech firm Tencent.

Trump cited national security concerns and data privacy issues as the reasons for his move to ban the Chinese-owned apps in the U.S. The ban is set to take effect in 45 days, with
those violating the order facing a $300,000 fine per violation and even criminal prosecution.

NPR reported over the weekend that TikTok owner ByteDance plans to sue the Trump administration over the executive order, which it says is unconstitutional.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

ColumnistsApr 20, 2021
Creative Connecting: You Need to Listen to This

Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams on why jewelers should utilize two big audio platforms: podcasts and Clubhouse.

AuctionsApr 20, 2021
Christie’s to Offer 100-Carat Diamond at Auction This Spring

The D-color, internally flawless diamond leads the Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction.

IndependentsApr 20, 2021
Connecticut Jewelry Store To Close After 108 Years

Friedrich Jewelers owners Doug and Jacki Friedrich are ready for retirement.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

GradingApr 19, 2021
Here’s What SSEF Found When It Studied High-Quality Afghan Emeralds

The Swiss lab reveals how stones from the Panjshir Valley are both different from and similar to emeralds from other places.

Weekly QuizApr 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of April 12-16, 2021.
Take the Quiz
CrimeApr 19, 2021
JSA Issues Refresher on What To Do During a Robbery

The reminder follows a frightening incident at a store in California.

SurveysApr 19, 2021
New Nielsen Study Shows Consumer Optimism Toward Jewelry

The survey showed Americans are becoming more optimistic about their financial futures and view precious jewelry as an important category.

Brought to you by
4 Reasons You Need This Program for Mother’s Day

Learn how to increase customer loyalty and revenue by making JM™ Care Plan a cornerstone of your business plan.

Lab-GrownApr 19, 2021
Lab-Grown Diamond Co. Green Rocks Hires Brand Manager

Ahna Shmuel returns to the company to head brand management as well as oversee the jewelry division.

×