Instagram today announced it’s making some much-needed updates to its TikTok competitor, Reels. These include the ability to make longer videos, as well as making it easier to trim video clips. It’s not going to help the feature compete against TikTok, but it could help get some Instagram natives on board.
A few Reels updates coming at you:
? Create a reel up to 30 seconds
⏱ Extend the timer to 10 seconds when you’re recording
? Trim and delete any clip pic.twitter.com/kVrCEnvC55
— Instagram (@instagram) September 23, 2020
Probably the most important of the new features is the length change. Now you can record Reels up to 30 seconds in length. Not that I want to keep making comparisons to TikTok, but there is a reason so many of its stars make videos 30 seconds or longer — it allows for greater variety.
The other big changes are the ability to set the timer longer — 10 seconds now. You can also trim and delete any clip in a video, as opposed to clip you just finished recording. These are simple updates, but they definitely make it less of a headache to make a Reel, already not the most intuitive feature on Instagram.
This still doesn’t fix some of Reels’ issues. My biggest is that there’s no real place for Reels in IG. It’s trying to squeeze onto a platform already bogged down trying to be an e-shopping site, a live video platform, and Snapchat. As far as it goes, Reels still doesn’t really do anything TikTok doesn’t do.
But with TikTok’s future seeming so uncertain lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of its users are turning to Reels. We know Instagram isn’t going anywhere any time soon. According to Tessa Lyons-Laing, Reels’ product director, users were requesting the changes, and I can certainly see why: “We continue to improve Reels based on people’s feedback, and these updates make it easier to create and edit. While it’s still early, we’re seeing a lot of entertaining, creative content.”
I think both we and Instagram are going to have to reconcile that Reels won’t be TikTok. I don’t think the Snapchat swipe is going to work in this case. But I’d still like to see what Instagram does with the feature to try anyway.
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