Instagram merges Reels, launches new creative tools

Meta’s TikTok challenger is taking it to the next level, as Instagram merges Reels and pushes more users toward video.

Instagram video posts shorter than 15 minutes will soon be shared as Reels. The change will come into effect in the coming weeks, after which videos posted prior to the change will remain as videos and won’t become Reels. Instagram is also merging the video and Reels tabs in the app to create one home for videos.

“Since Reels offer a more immersive and entertaining way to watch and create videos on Instagram, we’re bringing these creative tools and the full-screen experience to your video posts, too,” Instagram says.

The change will also improve discoverability. Currently, only Reels shorter than 90 seconds are eligible to be recommended to be seen by more Instagram users. Going forward, that recommendation will now apply to videos up to 15 minutes long.

As part of the change, Instagram is introducing new creative tools, including the ability to Remix any public photo. Expanded Remix layouts include green screen and picture-in-picture to add live commentary to existing Reels. Remixes can now appear sequentially after the original clip.

New Reels templates will speed up creation of posts, allowing users to easily create Reels by preloading audio and clip placeholders, so they can simply add your own photos or video clips

Users can also record content and their reaction at the same time, using their phone’s front and back cameras simultaneously to share another perspective using the Dual feature in the Instagram camera.

TikTok adds more tools

As Instagram merges Reels, TikTok has announced new caption and translation tools in hopes of lowering the language barrier. 

TikTok’s updates will support an initial batch of languages including English, Portuguese, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Turkish. The new tools include auto-generated captions, translations for captions and video descriptions, and translation for text stickers.

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