Do You Know How the Instagram Reels Actually Work?

by Ethan
4 minutes read

Instagram Reels is a relatively new feature that was launched in August 2020 to compete with the popular video-sharing platform TikTok. Instagram Reels enables users to create and share short-form video content with their followers and the larger Instagram community. The feature is gaining popularity rapidly, and many people are still wondering how it actually works. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of Instagram Reels and how it operates.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a feature within the Instagram app that enables users to create and share short-form video content. Each Reel video can last up to 60 seconds, and users can add music, text, and effects to make their videos more interesting and engaging. Users can share their Reels on their profile, the Reels tab, and the Explore page. Reels also have a dedicated editing suite, which is designed to help users create engaging and creative videos.

How does Instagram Reels work?

Creating Reels on Instagram is relatively simple, and the process is similar to creating other types of content on the platform. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create Reels:

  • Open the Instagram app and swipe right to open the camera.
  • Select the Reels option from the bottom of the screen.
  • You can start recording your Reel by pressing and holding the record button, or you can upload a video from your camera roll.
  • Add effects, music, text, and stickers to your video using the editing tools.
  • Preview your Reel and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Share your Reel on your profile, the Reels tab, or the Explore page.
  • Once you’ve shared your Reel, it will appear on your profile, and your followers can view it by clicking on the Reels icon. Your Reel may also appear in the Reels tab, where other users can discover it.

How does Instagram Reels algorithm work?

Like other types of content on Instagram, the Reels algorithm determines the content that appears on users’ feeds based on their engagement history and other factors. Instagram uses a combination of factors to determine the content that appears on users’ Reels feed, including:

User behavior

Instagram analyzes the content that users have engaged with in the past to determine the type of content they may want to see in the future. For example, if a user has engaged with a lot of sports-related content in the past, they may see more sports-related Reels on their feed.


Instagram also considers the number of likes, comments, and shares a Reel has received to determine its popularity and relevance to users.


Instagram considers the user’s location when determining which Reels to display on their feed. For example, if a user is located in New York City, they may see more Reels created by users in New York City.

Tips for creating successful Instagram Reels

If you want to create successful Instagram Reels, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Be creative

Instagram Reels is all about creativity, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas and concepts.

Keep it short and sweet

Reels are short-form content, so keep your videos under 60 seconds.

Use trending sounds

Instagram offers a wide range of music and sound effects for Reels. Use them to create engaging and relevant content that users will want to engage with.

Optimize your hashtags

Use relevant hashtags to make your Reels discoverable and increase their reach.

Collaborate with others

Collaborating with other users can help you reach a larger audience and increase your visibility on the platform.

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