Instagram began testing TikTok clone feature Reels with iOS and Android users in Brazil, calling the feature Cenas in that country.
Developer and blogger Jane Manchun Wong uncovered earlier testing of the feature, originally known as Clips, in September, saying in a blog post at the time that the feature for the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network’s Stories camera enabled Instagrammers to record segments of videos into a single video Story and overlay music on those clips, as well as to adjust the speed and time of each clip, just as TikTok users can do via that application’s video editor.
Instagram called Reels a new Stories format for creating short-form videos with music, pointing out that in countries where the music sticker for Stories is available, over one-half of Stories users have seen the sticker, and adding that more than 500 million people use Stories on a daily basis.
Instagram also said it has seen a rise in short-form videos with music, on its platform and elsewhere.
Users can create Reels directly via the Instagram Stories camera, where they will have access to creative tools including speed, time, countdown and the ghost tool, enabling them to line up takes for custom changes or recording with multiple people.
Those videos can then be shared to their Stories or share them via the Close Friends option or Instagram Direct messages.
Top Reels will also be featured in Instagram’s Explore tab during the test.
Instagram director of product Robby Stein said in a statement, “We’re excited to test Reels, a new Stories format that gives our community a way to create entertaining, short-form videos with music. Instagram Stories has always been a home for expression, and we believe this new format has huge potential to enable more creativity for people.”
Stein told Josh Constine of TechCrunch, “No two products are exactly the same, and at the end of the day, sharing video with music is a pretty universal idea that we think everyone might be interested in using. The focus has been on how to make this a unique format for us.”