Another week another Instagram update, this week in their bid to be the new TikTok, Instagram has announced that all videos under 15 minutes will be reels. The once popular photo-sharing app is no longer just a photo-sharing app and is changing direction, with its head of product Adam Mosseri stating only last year that “(Instagram) is no longer just a photo-sharing app…Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. “

What do all the changes mean for users of the app? Well, there are a few key changes. The first as already mentioned is that all videos will be reels and secondly remix will allow anyone to use any of your images unless you turn the function off.


Instagram Reels

Let’s take a closer look at the function of the reels. As we said videos of 15 minutes or less will be reels. That is most of the videos on social media because we all know nobody wants to sit and watch an exceptionally long video on social media. Reels are full-screen vertical videos, so you will only see one video at a time (like TikTok). With that in mind, you will want to film vertically to avoid any compression or losing anything from your video.

Another cool feature of Reels which has been adapted from Be Real’s image-based work is that you can simultaneously use both cameras; filming what is in front of you as well as your own reaction!



The new remix layout allows you to choose between a green screen, horizontal or vertical split screen or even a picture-in-picture layout. You can even remix an original reel with your reel.

While this is great news for creators, it can have negative consequences too. Unless your account is private or you switch off remix, anyone can use any of your images or videos on Instagram. Remix is switched on by default. Furthermore, any photos posted before Remix goes live will have remixing turned off by default. Additionally, you’ll be able to turn on remixing for individual posts if you want to.


How will this help businesses?

While we stated that the remix could result in people’s photos being used without someone asking, it’s not all doom and gloom. Already, businesses are using reels and its creative features such as filters, and music. Businesses can leverage Remix to really promote their brand and get some “collaboration.” You could use it to answer your fans’ burning questions, even asking fans what their favourite feature of a particular product is. There are so many opportunities for businesses to leverage social media now using reels for collaboration and user-generated content (UGC). Again, this type of UGC is a fantastic opportunity for businesses, these videos will be created by everyday people and provide the business with amazing and authentic content.


What are Instagram users saying?

There seems to be some ill feeling from the Instagram community (including Kylie Jenner) for Instagram becoming more like TikTok and less like Instagram. Several high-end influencers have also voiced similar opinions after recent reports on Instagram.

Tom Alison Meta’s App Chief recently announced that there will be a “shift away from your home feed being curated by your social or follow graph, to more of the posts displayed being recommended by AI, ‘even if the content wasn’t posted by a friend or someone you follow.”

So, what does all this mean for businesses? Ultimately, users may leave Instagram which may see businesses have fewer interactions and followers. Our advice would be to still post your images as you have always done (that way appeasing your already built follower base) and start to add more reels (which have the potential to be seen by more people, including those who are not already followers of your business).


We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post about Instagram’s new Reels features. Did you know that we also have a monthly newsletter full of digital marketing news and best practice guides which can be delivered straight to your inbox? Why not sign up for the newsletter today?

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