Are Instagram Reels THE Answer to TikTok?

Episode #163 the Wingnut Social Podcast

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] Breaking News: India bans TikTok
  • [2:17] Instagram launches Instagram Reels
  • [4:20] Instagram Reels will have the same features
  • [5:20] Why is this rollout so important?
  • [6:49] How do you use Reels on Instagram?
  • [9:46] What does this mean for designers?
  • [11:47] Darla still LOVES TikTok…
  • [12:44] Mydoma studios upcoming seminar
  • [15:35] The infamous Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Why now is THE perfect time for Instagram to launch Reels

According to Forbes, Apple caught the TikTok app spying on millions of iPhone users. Because of this (among other alleged security flaws), it was JUST announced that India has banned the use of TikTok. Despite it all, TikTok remains one of the most popular platforms. It generated the most downloads of an app ever in one quarter. But the potential security issues have many experts questioning the safety of using the app. 

This is why the launch of Instagram’s Reels feature is perfectly timed. They wanted a piece of the TikTok market—now they just might get it. They’ve already started rolling out the feature in places where TikTok never gained traction: Brazil, Germany, France, and—the real kicker—India. Because of the worldwide familiarity with Instagram and a growing sense of distrust of TikTok, this new feature may gain traction quickly. 

Darla and Natalie don’t know when Instagram Reels will be available in the US but you can bet Wingnut Social followers will be among the first to find out!

Will Instagram Reels have similar functionality to TikTok? 

Instagram Reels allow you to create engaging video content—similar to TikTok—on your stories. The Reels will be a new mode in the Stories camera menu (the icon looks like a small video). Users can record 15-second clips, choose from a huge library of music, or even record their own voice-overs or soundtracks. You get to control the length of the video, choose a thumbnail for it, and use different effects and AR filters. 

You can save it as a draft, send it to friends, and share and add it to your Instagram profile. Instagram is even adding a brand new discovery section on Instagram Explore: ‘Top Reels’, where the best-performing public Reels have the chance to go viral. Natalie points out that Instagram doesn’t do anything halfway, so they fully expect that this new feature will compete with TikTok. 

So what does this mean for designers? Will it save you from having to learn another social media platform? Will Darla still be using TikTok? Tune in to this Monday Marketing Minisode to find out!

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