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Have you been intrigued by the social media phenomenon that is Tik Tok but are hesitant to download because of the invasive terms of service?

Your tried and true social media bestie has the solution for you.

Instagram Reels!

Instagram rolled out their answer to the fun, short videos that people have been getting into lately, especially during long stretches of quarantine.

Instagram debuted this new feature in the US and 50 other countries on August 3rd, 2020.

Don’t fret if you don’t see it on your account yet, it is coming we promise! We’ve learned that some users have had to update the app or even uninstall and reinstall for the reels to take effect.

Here’s what you need to know about Instagram Reels:

They are short. 15 seconds to be exact. Unlike TikTok where the length of the video can be changed, you have 15 seconds to show your viewers what you’ve got.

You can aimlessly scroll through reels of people you don’t know just like you do photos on the Instagram For You feed. There is a separate Reels Explore Feed.

You can add songs to your Reels, just like in TikTok.

How then do I create an Instagram Reel?

Instagram Reels is a new mode that you will find in the Instagram Stories camera menu, either between the default Normal mode and Create mode or on the bottom menu next to “Story”.

Open the Instagram Stories camera and find the Reels icon.

From the main Reels screen you can add music, adjust the speed of the video, change the length (if you want the video to be shorter than 15 seconds) and add effects.

Once you are finished with your Reel, you can even change the cover photo if you wish or if you are wanting to keep your branding consistent.

So get creative and get creating in Instagram Reels!

Brands are using Instagram Reels in their social media marketing to connect with a new audience, showcase products, educate their audience

Have a new product to show? Why not create a Reel to showcase it. Or better yet if you have a product that hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves, then showcasing it in a different way via Reels might just breathe new life into the product.

Perhaps a concept that your company provides is best explain/shown via a video. Using Instagram Reel is a great way to do something unique and different.

In keeping with how Instagram (and Facebook for that matter) have been known to operate, it is a good idea to jump in on this trend while it is still early. Instagram has been known to reward those to adopt their new initiatives early.

Who knows? Reels might be just the ticket to gaining new eyes and hopefully sales.

We’d love to know what you think of Instagram Reels in the comments below.

Thanks for connecting with us at Guardian Owl Digital.