Instagram Just Got Reel (or Did It?)

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Every day, we see social media platforms begin to mimic one another in some capacity (come on, we know it’s true). It’s the same natural tendency that occurs when numerous different brands compete within the same sector of the marketplace. They all try to outshine one another while still remaining on par with the same utilities and features. In a way, this circulation of similar features among social platforms allows both brand’s identities and everyday user’s identities to remain integrated and cohesive across channels. Facebook and Instagram previously borrowed from Snapchat with the story feature. They recently drew inspiration from TikTok with the debut of their development of the new “Instagram Reels” feature.

It’s not surprising that Facebook and Instagram are following suit with TikTok’s type of content. Short-form video content is the new wave in effective content marketing. And who wouldn’t want to follow suit from TikTok? It started in 2018, and has generated upwards of 100 million users in the U.S., and is a leader among younger demographics.

Suppose you haven’t already played around with it. In that case, the Reels feature is located within the same interface as the story feature on Instagram, on the top left of the screen, and as the tab to the right of it once you open it up. The feature allows you to record snippets of videos and post short-form video content to your feed, almost identical to a TikTok creation. And you can’t really blame Instagram and Facebook for developing this latest addition to the app. We don’t know the fate of TikTok in the U.S. since the Trump administration recently threatened to ban TikTok in the United States for its data-hoarding accusations. However, we still don’t know a lot about that. Still, it seems that Instagram strategized to create this feature for TikTok loyalists to produce similar types of content. Whether you agree with this feature, it’s hard not to applaud them for staying on top of it.

So how will you know the difference between a reel and a video? You’ll be able to clearly identify a clapboard icon in the lower-left corner of the post if it’s a reel. Reels will also exist on an account’s page, similarly as IGTV posts have existed. Reels will have an individual tab separate from the usual posts of photos and regular videos.

There are still some discrepancies between an Instagram Reel and a TikTok. Reels limit the content to 15 seconds, while TikTok provides its users with up to 60 seconds. There are still decisions left up in the air when it comes to how Facebook and Instagram will manage its agreements with users’ access to music and specific audio. 

We still don’t know much about the reels, and we’re not quite sure how we feel about it. So you’re probably wondering, should my business be using reels? Our first response would be that if video content is not all-around relevant to your brand, a reel or a TikTok would not be either. However, as we learn more about reels, it could be beneficial to play around with them!


Grova Creative is a minority and veteran-owned agency headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, and works with clients all across the United States. If you are a business or organization seeking help with advertising, marketing, branding, messaging, marketing, strategy, website development, or other creative assets, email Grova Creative at [email protected] or visit

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