Short-form video content rules right now. Instagram Reels and TikTok are leading the way and with them, new features are constantly evolving. This week, it was Reels’ turn to unveil a host of exciting updates that put them on par with TikTok. The Meta-backed platform, Reels, is taking them on with their latest features, including Trending Audio, Hashtags, Gifts, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at what these new features mean, and how creators can be making the most of them.
Trending Audio, Hashtags: Browse and use popular tracks
One of the most significant updates to Instagram Reels is the addition of Trending Audio and analytics. This key feature may well be the reason behind so many musicians exploding from TikTok, which already had this capability.
With Trending Audio, you can browse and use popular audio tracks from Reels that are popular on the platform. To access Trending Audio, simply go to the Reels tab and tap on the “Audio” icon. From there, you can browse through the tracks that people are loving in real-time.
Using Trending Audio is a great way to keep your content fresh and engaging, and to tap into the latest trends and memes. Whether you’re creating a dance video or a funny skit, Trending Audio can help you find the perfect soundtrack for your content. It also helps viewers discover your content. Win win!
Gifts: Show your appreciation
Another new feature on Instagram Reels is Gifts. This has been a long-since established feature on TikTok as ‘Coins’, albeit a slightly controversial one in the past.
With Gifts, viewers can send virtual gifts to their favorite Reels creators as a way to show their appreciation for their content. Gifts can be purchased in app, and they can be sent to any Reels creator who has enabled the feature.
Gifts are a great way to support your favorite creators and encourage them to keep making the content you love. With so many pivoting into full-time jobs as creators, Gifts will certainly serve as an important source of income.
Here’s how to send a Gift:
- Go to the creator’s Reel.
- Tap Send gift.
- Tap your Stars balance on the top right.
- Select the number of Stars you would like to add to your balance.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to checkout.
- Select the gift you would like to give and tap Send.
Updates to Edit, Discovery features
In addition to Trending Audio, Hashtags, and Gifts, Instagram has also released some updates to its editing and discovery features. For example, the platform has added a new “Align” tool, which makes it easier to create seamless transitions between clips. The Align tool allows you to line up objects from one clip to the next, so that they appear to be continuous.
Word on the street is that Instagram are also cracking down on content from TikTok being crossposted to Reels. AI recognition systems are said to deprioritize uploaded Reels that still have TikTok watermarks on the algorithm. As well as this, uploads should be the full 16:9 aspect ratio – black or white banners will also be demoted.
Some discovery features have also been updated. A new “Explore” tab makes it easier to discover recent Reels, with personalized recommendations based on your interests and viewing history. There’s also a curated section of your favorite Reels.
These new Instagram Reels features are a welcome addition to the platform. Trending Audio, Gifts, and other features make it easier to create and discover engaging Reels content, and they encourage users to engage with the Reels community in new ways. Whether you’re a seasoned Reels creator or just getting started, these updates are sure to enhance your experience on the platform.
Read More: Why You Should Be Making Instagram Reels
Image: Courtesy of Freepik