Image: Alexander Shatov on Unsplash
Instagram has announced a set of new features designed to make it easier to create, share and boost videos on the platform. In addition, all videos under 15 minutes will be automatically converted to Reels.
The platform is doubling down on video features, in competition with rivals like TikTok. Last year, company head Adam Mosseri posted that Instagram was "no longer just a square photo-sharing app" and identified the 4 key areas they were focusing on as: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging.
With more than a billion people using Instagram every month, the platform provides an opportunity to get your brand before a sizable audience.
The new features announced are:
Instagram is expanding its tools for Remix to enhance collaboration.
Remix for photos: In the coming weeks, you will be able to remix public photos.
Expanded Remix layouts: Choose between a green screen, horizontal or vertical split-screen, or picture-in-picture reaction view to add your own video commentary to existing reels.
Add your clip: You can now choose whether your remix clip appears at the same time as the original video, or after it so it plays sequentially.
New templates and dual mode
Templates preload audio and clip placeholders so you can create Reels easily by adding your photos or video clips.
Dual mode lets you record using your front and back cameras simultaneously, so you can record your content and reaction at the same time.
You can access templates by tapping the camera icon on the Reels tab.
Video posts shared as Reels
New video posts which are under 15 minutes will be shared as Reels in the future. Instagram says this change is rolling out in the coming weeks and won’t affect videos posted before the change takes effect.
If you have a public account your videos (now Reels) may be eligible to be recommended and so more widely seen on Instagram. If your account is private, your Reels will only be shown to your followers, as now.
The Video and Reels tab on your profile will be consolidated.
Boost your Reels
In a separate blog post, Instagram announced that businesses can now boost Reels to turn them into ads within the Instagram app, to reach a wider audience and so get more views and engagement.
Boosted Reels will appear in Feed, Stories, the Reels tab and the Explore page.
The Reel has to be under 60 seconds and have a 9:16 ratio, meaning it’s filmed vertically and has a full-screen format. At this time, the use of copyrighted music, gifs, interactive stickers, face/camera filters or sharing to Facebook makes the Reel ineligible for boosting.
To boost your Reel, just find it in your grid in profile and tap Boost Post. You can then choose an objective based on your goal, eg more profile visits, more messages etc.
See full details in Instagram’s blog post.