Instagram Releases New Reels Features New Audio Options, Interactivity, & Templates

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - Digital Marketing>Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Instagram rolled out some new features to its Reels. Now, users have more ways to let their creativity shine in creating short video clips while engaging with their audience.

And they’re engaging all right.

Currently, Instagram video posts are generating an engagement rate of 1.5%, which means that users are interacting with them, not just scrolling past them. Also, 86% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if it’s rated as “shareworthy” on Insta.

Read More: Instagram Has A New Guide For Setting Up Shops

If you’re on the fence and thinking about starting making videos for Instagram, maybe this next statement encourages you:

Public accounts with more than 10kfollowers who posted at least five reels over two months gained 250% more followers than the ones that don’t post reels – according to Instagram, at least.

Read More: Benefits Of Creating Video Content

What’s New With Reels?

Read More: Instagram Subscriptions Tests Three New Features
  • Audio Options

Not only did Instagram update its collection of sound effects, but it also allows us to add our own audio files. Now we can use the audio from Instagram’s music library, record audio, add voiceover to clips, and share or collect audio pages too.

Audio can be imported from any video in your camera roll, as long as it’s at least five seconds long. You can use them in Reels for commentary, jingles, or background noise for example.

Read More: Instagram Videos Shorter Than 15 Min To Become Reels
  • Length

Reels have a new length restriction. Before, Reels could last for only 15 seconds. Then, Instagram extended that and users could post 90-second clips. Now, Reels ads have a maximum running length of 60 seconds.

  • Interactive stickers are now available for videos, not only stories. That means you can use them in your videos for polls, quizzes, etc.
  • Also, you can use another video as a template when you’re creating your own Reels. You only need to add and trim your own clips by pre-loading audio and clip placeholders from source videos.
Read More: How To Create A Successful Video Content Strategy?

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

Instagram’s New Tool for Tipping Creators is Here


Recently, Meta has been trying to find new ways to reimagine Instagram, which is having a tough go this year, mostly because of the ongoing competition with TikTok.

In August 2020, Meta introduced Reels to Instagram as an effort to level the playing field with TikTok’s successful video content. Something they missed in adding Reels to the mix was the ability for users to go beyond giving their favourite creator just a like or comment. Even so, it is no secret that Instagram has a reputation for mimicking features of other socials, so it comes as no surprise that they announced a new feature for tipping on Reels.

A new way for Creators to Make Money

There has been speculation around Instagram’s integration of the tipping feature for a few months, but according to a representative from Meta, the feature is officially in the works.

Instagram is now testing ‘Gifts’, first discovered by developer Alessandro Paluzzi who tweeted the change in screenshots, just a few weeks prior. In the screenshots shared by Paluzzi, under the creator section there is now a ‘Gifts’ option, which has replaced content appreciation. Paluzzi stumbled upon the feature by chance while reverse-engineering variations of Instagram’s code.

Currently, ‘Gifts’ is only being tested internally and is not available to external users. Meta has not yet released a detailed breakdown of what ‘Gifts’ allows users to do, however, based on models of similar ‘tipping’ features on Facebook, TikTok or YouTube, one can make some guesses. This style of content interaction would allow users to send or donate tips to each other within the Reels section of Instagram. Essentially, this is Meta’s way of providing Instagram creators with a way to monetize their content and increase engagement on Reels.


Making Reels More Promising

The addition of ‘Gifts’ to Instagram is supposed to have multiple benefits, for engagement and for users. It is estimated that approximately a fifth of engagement and platform usage comes from Reels, with over half of content sent within direct messages also being Reels. It’s predicted that ‘Gifts’ will be a way of elevating those numbers since Meta has acknowledged the stiff competition, primarily TikTok. Meta has previously introduced tips on Facebook Reels so this isn’t the first time the company is dipping into alternatives for creators to make money through donation features.

‘Gifts’ also presents a solution to the originality of Reels on Instagram, a large majority of Reels videos were produced on TikTok. It is estimated that over one-third of them had a watermark or border indicating that they were made elsewhere. Could this have to do with the fact that creators have the opportunity to make more money on TikTok due to their longstanding tipping option? It is likely, but soon things might change for Instagram once ‘Gifts’ is introduced to users.

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Videos Shorter Than 15 Min To Become Reels


As Instagram Reels are having a moment now, the social media platform will turn every video shorter than 15 minutes into a Reel. If your account is public and you’re about to post a video to your profile, Instagram will show you an alert. The alert will – you guessed it – alert you about your video being shared in the Reels category and will offer you some suggestions on how to make the video even better.

This is weirdly happening at the same time as Facebook is restructuring its main feed and shifting its focus to Reels while making the Home Tab a discovery engine. Read more about it here. 

Read More: Instagram’s Main Feed Going Full Screen 

Also, other people will be able to use the sound from your Reel and turn it into a Reel of their own – they can make a remix out of your Reel, or download it as a part of their remix. The remixing option can be turned off – said Instagram in the official announcement.

Here’s what the alert will look like:

Photo source: Instagram Blog

Mmmm…This The Remix?

If you were caught off-guard by these remixes above – there’s no need to panic.

In addition to the new video policy, Instagram is also expanding its tools. Now they unveiled the Remix option, which should help you with making your videos more compelling and creative. Using this tool, you can collaborate with others on the platform. Now, Instagram’s offering:

  • Remix For Photos – you’ll be able to remix public photos. I guess this means some kind of photo editing? We’ll find out for sure.
  • Expanded Remix Layouts – this sounds like the duet option on TikTok.
  • Add Your Clip – this just means you’ll be able to add your video to an existing Reel and create a unique, new Reel.
Photo source: Instagram Blog
Read More: Instagram Releases New Reels Features

Instagram also added some templates that will help you create reels when you run out of ideas. Also, there’s the Dual option, which lets you use both your front and back camera while recording. You can use that option in the Instagram camera.

Read More: Instagram Has A New Guide For Setting Up Shops
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