Instagram Reels x 2020 Algorithm

Instagram is stepping things up with its new short-form video feature Reels. With Reels, Instagram responds to TikTok’s short video montages, which are overlaid with copyrighted music and embellished with effects like emojis and sped-up motion.

TikTok has got some stiff competition coming from Instagram with the announcement of the new Reels feature. Business owners who were previously unhappy with the oversaturated nature of the platform and poor algorithm results will be happy to know there’s a new way to stand out from your competition and get in front of your customers.

Personally, a lot of my faith in Instagram has been restored.

So, let’s get straight to it. When uploading a video, Reels allow you to create short 15-second videos from your longer videos. You can edit them within the app and then share them to your feed, your stories, and most importantly, the Explore page where new users can find you.

A lot of people have been comparing Instagram Reels to TikTok and it’s not surprising seeing as the videos work in a very similar fashion, but with one key differentiator. Reels pop up at the top of the Instagram Explore page, which is huge for discoverability and reaching new people and new leads.

Reels are also curated based on who you follow, who you engage with, and where your location is. This means you will show up in Reels feeds that are similar to yours, and hashtags work just the same way, but unlike TikTok, you’re not limited to five. If you were not using hashtags for discoverability already, what were you waiting for?

We think you should be taking advantage of this new feature immediately. Instagram seems to be shying away from native long-form content and shifting focus to high engagement short-form.


Let’s get into how Reels work:

  • To make a reel hop onto your home feed and swipe right just like how you would to make a story, then at the bottom of the screen scroll over to the Reels tab.
  • You can film edit and upload the reel directly from here.
  • This part is a lot like TikTok, you can select your audio from the left-hand side of the screen and browse through Instagram suggestions or search a specific song or genre.
  • Next, choose your video speed and create time limits for each clip of your video, remember you only have 15 seconds so you better be getting value in straight away.
  • Just like TikTok you can add effects and edit your video right there and then and you can choose whether you want to film the video fresh or select from content already on your camera roll.
  • Make sure to select a cover photo that will attract views from your audience.