Let’s admit it: Instagram Reels is no TikTok. But should a major tech corporation buy TikTok and promptly ruin it—anything could happen!—then Instagram Reels is a fun alternative with the same basic features, once you figure out how to use it.
Instagram’s feature is nowhere near as intuitive to use as TikTok, but we’re all learning together.
When you open Instagram, swipe right on your home screen to access the in-app camera. Tap Reels at the bottom of your camera. From here you can shoot a 15-second Reel by tapping and holding the camera like you would an Instagram Story.
You can also add music and filters, slow down or speed up footage, align multiple clips, and set a timer for how long the clip is supposed to be by tapping on the options to the left of the camera preview. You can also add existing clips from your camera roll by tapping the image preview on the lower left of your screen.
To share a Reel, you have a few options: You can post it as an Instagram Story, which will disappear after 24 hours. You can also share it to the Explore feed for public discovery or publish it to your feed so friends can watch and it will live on your page. There is also a new Reels tab on your profile where people can watch all of your past Reels.
To find other Reels to watch from people you don’t follow, tap on the Explore feed.
Reels is confusing to use! It’s definitely not as easy or fast as TikTok, which handles a lot of the work for you and curates a personalized feed based on types of content you like. Our how-to video above can walk you through the steps, and once you’re done, have fun with it. After all, when it comes to social media today, creating fun videos for the world to see is definitely better than scrolling through the absolute hellscape that is Twitter.