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Have you noticed anything new on Instagram today? Have your favorite Instagram influencers uploaded content that looks different from what they usually post? If so, it’s probably because yesterday the social media giant released its latest feature: Reels.

The new media format lets you record and edit multi-clip videos of up to 15 seconds. Reels offer more creative freedom than Stories, and because of this, they’re already being used by influencers around the world.

Instagram launches Reels, a new video format

What you can do

Reels offers you five new creative tools to use in your editing:

  • Audio: Record your own audio, or choose a song from Instagram’s collection.
  • Speed: You can choose to slow down your videos by a third or a half, or increase the pace by 2x or 3x.
  • Effects: Choose from endless effects filters made by Instagram and its users.
  • Timer: Set your phone to record hands-free. You choose how long the camera will record for, and Instagram gives you a 3-2-1 to get ready.
  • Align: Align shows you two transparent layers– one of your last clip and one of the clip you’re about to record– so that you can make your edits line up perfectly.

In addition to these new capabilities, Reels also works in the tools already available in Stories: stickers and GIFs, pens and text. You can record multiple clips, or one 15-second clip, and you can also add photos, videos and other media from your phone’s gallery. Reels gives you everything you need to produce fun, beautiful videos to tell the stories you want to share.


Before publishing a Reel, just like with all Instagram posts, you can add captions, mentions and hashtags. When you’re ready to upload your finished video, you have a few options of how to do so:

  • Reels Gallery: all uploaded Reels will appear in a designated gallery, accessed via a tab on your profile
  • Main Feed: you can also choose the “Also share to feed” option when publishing to make sure your Reel appears on the main page of your profile
  • Stories: you can also share your Reel to Stories, where it will follow all the standard behavior rules for that format

If your profile is public, your Reel may show up on Instagram Explore. So you could end up attracting new followers with your Reels content! Additionally, any audio you upload that’s not from Instagram’s library can be used by other people for their own videos.

If your profile is private, Instagram will respect your usual privacy settings. Reels will only be visible to your followers and they won’t show up on Explore. Also, your original audio won’t be made available for use by others.

Implications for Influencer Marketing

Given that Instagram is such an important platform within the influencer marketing industry, it’s natural that Reels will start to show up in influencer campaigns across the platform.

Reels’ short and sweet format could be particularly useful for food spotlights, quick recipes, makeover before and afters, video lookbooks, travel tips, or challenges. With so many creative options, the possibilities are endless!

Finally, if you’re thinking that Instagram Reels is pretty similar to TikTok, you’re not alone. Instagram’s newest feature has a lot in common with ByteDance’s platform. But if this video format is interesting for your influencer campaigns, you don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. If you’re interested in marketing on both channels, you can use Heepsy to find Instagrammers who are also active on TikTok.