Skip to main content

Instagram continues its TikTok makeover, will convert all videos to Reels

Earlier this month, Instagram started testing a new feature that turned videos posted by users into Reels. If you count yourself among people that think it’s a bad idea, there’s some bad news. Instagram has just announced that all videos shorter than 15 minutes in length will be automatically shared as a Reel.

The change, which is going to be implemented in the coming weeks, will have a major impact. If you have a public profile, your videos don’t just pop up in another random person’s Reels section. They only appear on the main feed of people who follow you. That is about to change soon.

📣 Reels Updates 📣

We’re announcing new features making it easier and more fun to collaborate, create and share Reels. These updates include:

– Reels Video Merge
– Reels Templates
– Remix Improvements
– Dual Camera

Check them out and let me know what you think 👇🏼

— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 21, 2022

Once Instagram’s promised change comes into effect, all videos shorter than 15 minutes posted by a public account will be turned into Reels. That means anyone worldwide can see it in their Reels tab, irrespective of whether they follow you or not. Based on the content, Instagram’s recommendation algorithm will show your Reels to people who might find them interesting.

All Instragam videos are going to be Reels

However, if your account is private, your videos won’t be turned into a Reel, and only people who follow you will see them on their timeline. But more than just viewing, they will also be able to remix it and share it with their own followers, amplifying the reach of your original video.

There’s some relief here if you’re already freaked out about the whole idea. Instagram won’t be turning your older videos into a Reel. So far, Instagram has only turned videos shorter than 90 seconds into Reels by default.

New features for Instagram Reels
Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the surface, this sounds like a desperate attempt to boost the popularity of Reels in the face of hot competition from TikTok. On the bright side, there is a chance that your content goes viral after being served to a wider audience. But again, that is ultimately going to play in Instagram’s favor.

Easing Reel creation for everyone

And that’s not the only change Instagram has in the pipeline. The Meta-owned platform is merging the video and Reels tabs, creating a unified dashboard for all videos on the app. To further boost the appeal of Reels, Instagram is also adding a couple of new features.

The first new trick is called Duals, which allows users to record simultaneously from their phone’s front and rear cameras. The front camera capture will be used as the live reaction that appears in a small video at the top, while the rear camera’s view becomes the meat of the Reel.

Here's how the new Reel Templates system works on Instagram. It is essentially a set of templates for creative inspiration, letting you borrow the core design of a sample and then adding your own media and audio clip of choice to quickly create a Reel. #Instagram

— Nadeemonics (@nsnadeemsarwar) July 21, 2022

The other new addition is Templates. In a nutshell, this allows users to create a Reel with the same format as the one they just watched. When you go to the Reels tab and tap on the camera, you will see a new Templates option.

You can pick a sample Reel from the list of Templates, copy the core design, and then add your own media to make an original Reel. The idea behind Templates is to simplify the whole process of making Reels, especially when you’re running out of ideas.

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
Having trouble accessing your Instagram account? You’re not alone
Instagram being used on an iPhone.

Instagram appears to be down right now, but the glitch many users are reporting is an odd one. It's not just that users are having trouble accessing the popular photo- and video-sharing app, but they're also having trouble accessing their own accounts and have reported being hit with account suspension notices.

On Monday morning, the apparent Instagram outage was reported by users on Twitter and on Downdetector. Both sites included numerous reports saying that users suddenly lost access to their IG accounts and were given account suspension notices.

Read more
TikTok is launching a dedicated gaming channel
Person's hand holding a smartphone with TikTok's logo on screen, all in front of a blurred background.

TikTok is moving further into the games industry by launching its own dedicated gaming channel.

According to a report from Financial Times, the channel will allow TikTok users to access games by pressing a tab on the ByteDance-owned social media platform's homepage. Four people familiar with the matter said that the channel will feature a variety of mobile games — some of which the company already developed — with ads and additional content that users can purchase.

Read more
Reels are about to show up in yet another Facebook feature
A smartphone with the Facebook app icon on it all on a white marble background.

As its answer to TikTok, Reels is clearly a particularly important priority for Meta. Which is why a number of its platforms' recent feature updates often involve Reels. And today's announcement was not exempt from Meta's push to make Reels just as competitive as TikTok.

On Thursday, Meta announced that it would be bringing Reels to Facebook Groups, mentioning it as one of three new ways for users to "to connect over shared interests." Facebook group members and admins will be able to add "audio, text overlay and filters on top of their videos before sharing to bring their stories to life."

Read more