Instagram Reels: What is It, How to Create, Share and Watch Reels Video, Hastags, AR Effects and More

Instagram Reels has taken over from TikTok, and brought the short video spree to the Facebook-owned social media. Here's how you can make the most of it.


Instagram Reels made a big splash when it was launched. Coming in as a replacement of the virally popular TikTok, which faced subsequent legal trouble in India and USA, Instagram Reels is one of the biggest headlining features of the Facebook group’s visual-first social media platform. The service is tipped for growing popularity across the world, but already has plenty of original content creators making the most of it. With this in sight, here’s everything you need to know about Reels — the latest favourite feature on the Instagram platform.

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What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels videos can be as long as up to 30 seconds, and now have a separate tab on Instagram that can be shared via user profiles. Users creating Reels can create them as videos directly from the Instagram camera app. It is, in essence, a direct replacement of TikTok, and offers a large library of audio files on which select visuals can be overlaid to create quick, appealing video snippets.

How to Create Instagram Reels?

There are three ways to create Reels on Instagram. They are:

  1. From the Explore feed or any user’s Instagram Reels videos, find the camera button located to the top right of the frame. Tap on it to directly open the Reels camera on the app.
  2. From the Instagram home page, tap the create or ‘+’ button to open the Instagram camera, and from the scrolling bar below, select Reels.
  3. From Instagram Stories, scroll to select Reels from the floating bar at the bottom.

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How to Watch Instagram Reels Videos?

You can watch Instagram Reels videos in numerous ways, all of which lead to giving you an infinitely scrolling vertical view of Reels.

  1. On your home page, scroll to find an Instagram Reels video. To the bottom-left of this video, you will find a button (similar to how it appears on IGTV videos). Tap on this button to open the Reels video, and continue scrolling vertically to watch more Reels videos only.
  2. Access your preferred person’s Instagram page, and select the videos tab that sits at the centre of their page. Here, select a Reels video and continue scrolling to watch more.
  3. To view random Instagram Reels videos, head to your Instagram Explore feed, and scroll until you find a Reels video. Here, tap on it to open the Instagram Reels feed, and continue scrolling to watch more.

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How to Share Instagram Reels Videos?

To share Instagram Reels videos, you can do the same both within Instagram and outside of it.

  1. Inside Instagram, simply tap once on a Reels video, and select the DM (direct messages) arrow at the bottom. Here, select the user you wish to share it with.
  2. Alternately, from this very option, users can choose to share a Reels video directly to their Instagram Stories.
  3. To share with those outside of Instagram, tap on the three dots to the bottom right of a Reels video, and from the floating menu, select copy link. Now, you can paste the link of the Reels video on any other platform, or send to contacts on a different messaging app.

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How to use Hashtags in Instagram Reels?

Using hashtags are an integral part of Reels, and of Instagram in general. This will help you reach out to a wider audience who are looking for a similar topic to view content on. To use hashtags:

  1. First, record your Reels clips as per your preference.
  2. Swipe up on a clip to reveal the set of effects available to a user.
  3. Select the hashtag plate, and add your tag. You can then select your preferred style, colour, background and shadow effect for the hashtag.
  4. You can choose to retain the same hashtag on every clip of your Reels video.

How to use AR Effects in Instagram Reels?

AR effects add an extra zing to videos on Instagram Reels. Doing this follows a process that is very similar to adding hashtags. To do this:

  1. Record your preferred clips.
  2. Open the effects panel by swiping up.
  3. View any or all of your available augmented reality effects in the Reels videos, and place them on any clip you prefer.

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