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New features amp up Instagram Reels for marketers and creators alike

Instagram has introduced a whole bunch of new features to aid content creators in using the in-app tool and monetize their skills more effectively.

A woman with her hair tied up in a towel to dry taps on her phone stuck to a bathroom mirror, recording an Instagram Reels video

Instagram continues to encourage users to post Reels, even though they are also pushing carousel posts of photos for more reach. Reels is Instagram’s answer to TikTok and to keep users posting directly to their own platform instead of reposting from TikTok, they often update the tools available to content creators. In their latest update to push Reels, Instagram has introduced several new features intended to help content creators create Reels in Instagram and analyze the effectiveness of the Reels they are sharing. These new tools should also guide users to create content aligned with the trends of the moment. 

Capitalizing on trends to increase reach

One way marketers and content creators have increased their reach recently has been to use trending audio and hashtags. If you have a business or creator account, these trending tools for Reels are in your professional dashboard, toward the bottom of the page. When you click into your dashboard, you will see “Reels Trends” with an upward-pointing arrow. An upward-pointing arrow has indicated trending audio on the actual Reel screen for a while, yet there didn’t used to be an easy way to search for them. 

If you’ve spent any time on Reels at all, you will recognize some of the trending audio, from songs of self-empowerment like Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, self-affirmation from Snoop Dogg’s new kid’s show, Doggyland. Other instrumental songs like João Gilberto’s Bim Bom may be trending because they give a pleasant soundtrack to whatever you are sharing in your video. 

Trending hashtags are another way to increase reach for your Reels, according to Instagram experts. While many trending hashtags coincide with events, such as #swiftieforever now that Taylor Swift is on tour, or #guardiansofthegalaxy for the new movie release, others are more evergreen, like #northernlights or #2000sfashion.

New Instagram Reels editing tools

The Reels video composer is also getting fresh new tools to support making Reels that pop and can attract more eyes on that creator’s content. Much like the popular CapCut video editing tool used by 200 million creators, the new Reels in-app features will give video creators more resources. Look for new ways to add stickers, text, and audio easily to different time stamps within a given video. Per Instagram, “This makes it easier to align and time elements of your reel to the right moments in a more visual way. Keep an eye out for even more exciting tools to come as we continue to invest in more ways to make editing your reels simpler and easier.”

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Amped up analytics

Along with new creative features, Instagram is also providing additional analytics for the popular short-form videos (15-90 seconds). The platform has always shown users how many views, likes, shares, and comments each Reel has gotten, but now they are adding data on how long, on average, users have watched each Reel. 

Instagram shares why  this is helpful. “For example if your average watch time is 17 seconds, out of everyone who watched your Reel they watched an average of 17 seconds. This will help you better understand where people are being engaged or where you may need to create a stronger hook to have viewers stay longer.”

In any case, Reels are not going away anytime soon. As with all social media platforms, best practices always indicate that using the newest tools provided by the platform, in the platform, will garner better reach and earn that content creator or marketer a larger audience for their content. 

Joleen Jernigan is an ever-curious writer, grammar nerd, and social media strategist with a background in training, education, and educational publishing. A native Texan, Joleen has traveled extensively, worked in six countries, and holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. She lives in Austin and constantly seeks out the best the city has to offer.


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