How to Make Instagram Reels
Nearly every social media platform offers its own version of short-form videos, known as reels or shorts. In particular, Instagram has embraced videos in the form of reels. While every Instagram user is familiar with reels and views them regularly, not everyone has made on themselves yet.
If you feel like the only one who has never made an Instagram Reel, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a beginner’s guide to making, editing, and sharing reels for Insta-reel newbies.
Getting Started: Instagram Reels Basics
Insta limits its reels to 90 seconds. They can comprise one continuous video or multiple clips and images edited together but can’t exceed 90 seconds.
Uploading vs. Recording
Reels can be recorded directly in the app using your device’s camera, or you can upload videos saved to the device. Additionally, you can combine saved videos with current recordings and edit them into one reel.
Now that you understand reels, you’ll learn to record them using Instagram and its numerous features. To begin recording, follow the steps below:
- Open Instagram and go to the Home Page.
- Swipe from left to right to open the recording page. Your camera will automatically open.
- Tap “Reel” from the content choices (Post, Story, Reel, and Live) at the bottom of the screen, below the capture button.
Various icons will be visible along the left side. These are the features and tools available to use while recording. Here is a brief description of each:
- Audio – Audio will superimpose an audio over the video you record. Instagram has a vast library of music and audio clips to choose from, as well as user-created audio. Additionally, you can create and save audio you make for future use and to share with other users. Be sure to check out the audio library for inspiration. You can save any audio you may want to use later by tapping the Save Icon to the right.
- Effects – The camera effects feature is an extensive tool offering many filters, backgrounds, animations, and stickers. You’ll want to explore and save your favorites here as well.
- Green Screen – This tool allows you to change the background of your video by selecting from available backgrounds or using your photos or videos as backgrounds. Note: This tool is used for many reaction videos where the subject appears before a photo or video.
- Add yours – This is a great tool for expanding your network and interacting with others. This option inserts a sticker into your video containing a question or prompt. Your response will then be linked to the responses of other users when your reel is posted.
- Length – Choose a pre-set video length of 15, 30, 60, or 90 seconds. Reels automatically default to 15 seconds, so adjust this setting to create a longer reel. When the time is up, the recording will stop automatically, a useful feature for hands-free recording.
- Speed – Select from .3x, .5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x to slow down or speed up your recording.
- Video Layout – Used for separating the screen to allow multiple clips or images to be simultaneously visible.
- Timer – Used to set a wait time and countdown to recording. This is another useful tool for hands-free recording, allowing you to record away from your device. Push the button to start the timer, then move into place before the recording begins.
- Gesture Control – Another great tool for recording away from the device, this allows you to begin recording by raising your hand, palm toward the camera, to initiate a countdown and begin recording.
Once you’ve selected the effects for your recording, the only thing left to do is tap the capture button to start recording! Don’t worry if you make a mistake. Just tap the back button to start over.
- When you’re satisfied with your recording, tap “next.”
- If recording the entire reel in one clip, tap “edit” to begin editing.
- If creating a reel that requires recording multiple clips, you will select “add clip” to configure and record the following clip.
- Once you’ve finished recording all your clips, tap “edit” to move on to editing.
Uploading Videos for Reels
Uploading videos from your device to Instagram should be straightforward now that you’re familiar with the reel menus and options.
- Begin from the “New Reel” page.
- There are three options for creating reels from uploaded files. They are:
- Template – Templates enable users to select clips they want and plug them into a pre-formatted reel.
- Drafts –To add uploaded content to previously recorded reels you’ve saved to drafts.
- Upload – Recentfiles will appear automatically on the new reels page. To search all photos and videos or to access albums, tap “recent.”
- Decide which you would like and tap the corresponding button at the top.
- Choose the photos or videos you will be using from your library, then move on to editing.
When editing your reels, you’ll see that some of the tools available for recording, such as effects, speed, and music, can also be added during editing. However, it’s essential to know that some features won’t work with the same quality when added after recording. Therefore, it’s best to add them before recording.
Editing reels can involve a variety of changes to your file. Here are a few common edits that are available on Instagram for your reel:
- Clip cropping – Adding, deleting, trimming, and re-ordering clips.
- Text – Adding a text layer that will appear over the reel. Text can be added in various fonts, colors, and sizes. The text can be limited to appearing in only selected portions of the reel and can be moved around to appear in various areas of the reel.
- Transitions – Several transitions are available within the app and can be added between clips for a more professional or creative style.
- Covers – Covers are images added to the beginning of reels. They appear before the reel is played on your profile page to give a preview of the content viewers can expect. You can create covers yourself, use the cover templates available on the app, or elect not to use covers.
Finally, it’s time to share your creation with the world, or at least with friends and family. To share your reel, follow these steps,
- Click “next” when finished editing.
- You will see a reel preview and can add captions, tag other users, and share location information.
- Lastly, tap the share button, and you’ve officially posted your first reel! If your Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked, it will automatically share on Facebook also.
Tips and Tricks
- Save audio and filter you like while scrolling so they’re easy to find later.
- For more editing tools, check out other video editing software such as Canva, Capcut, and Adobe.
- Connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts to share and manage reels on both apps easily.
- Have patience. Learning all the features and tools can be overwhelming at first. Trying too many tools simultaneously can be too much, especially if you don’t have prior video editing experience. Try to experiment with only one component at a time.
Time to Start Creating
Instagram Reels are an excellent way to create, build, and maintain a community of followers. Whether you use them to entertain friends and family, spread an important message, or grow your brand, reels can be an essential tool for meeting those goals.
Have you ever made an Instagram Reel? If so, did you use any of the tips and tricks from this article? Let us know in the comments section below.