How to Make Instagram Reels

Taking a look at Instagram's newest feature.

In 2020, Instagram rolled out a number of new features. One of these new features was Instagram Reels. Reels are short 15 to 30-second videos that are meant to be highly shareable. Instagram users can create Reels within the app, either by recording a single clip or editing multiple clips together and applying audio and visual effects. Because they can be a valuable addition to your social media marketing strategy, we wanted to show you how to make Instagram Reels.

Creating an Instagram account

If you don’t already have an Instagram account set up, here is how to get started.

First, either download the Instagram app on your tablet or mobile device or head to the Instagram website on your computer.

It is important to note that although you can create an Instagram account via the website, you will need the app to create and share Reels.

If you are creating an account for the first time on a tablet or mobile device, the first thing you see on your screen should be the account set up options. That screen will look like this:

Instagram create new account screen

Here Instagram provides you with two options for creating a new account: signing up with your Facebook account information or signing up with your mobile number or email address. You can choose whichever option is best for you.

If you are creating your Instagram account on a computer, the account set up screen should look like this:

instagram create account screen on a laptop computer

This account setup screen will have the same options for creating a new account: signing up with your Facebook page, or with your mobile number or email address. Again, you can choose whichever option is best for you.

Once you have successfully created your Instagram account, you can start creating your own Instagram Reels.

Opening Instagram Reels

To make an Instagram Reel, you’ll first need to open the Reels tab in the Instagram app. The Reels tab can be found in the bottom menu of the Instagram app, in the center of the five icons that are shown.

instagram app feed with instagram reels icon circled

Once you have opened the Reels tab, you will see the Reels feed. You can scroll through the Reels feed by swiping up or down. You can also like, comment, and share Reels from this tab.

kale me maybe instagram reel of baked feta

To leave the Reels feed, you have to select a new icon in the bottom navigation menu.

Creating Instagram Reels

Now that you’ve successfully opened the Reels tab and scrolled through the feed, you can open the camera and start creating a Reel.

To open the camera, go to the Reels tab, and then tap on the camera icon in the top right of the Reels feed.

instagram reels feed with camera icon in top right circled

Understanding the Reels Toolbar

Once you’ve opened the camera, you will see the Reels edit screen. Here you will be able to edit your Reels settings, record clips, and add music or effects to your video.

instagram reels record/create screen

On this screen, you have a number of tools that you can use when recording and editing your Reel.

In the top left, the gear icon will take you to your Reels settings, where you can set the default camera and decide whether you want your Reels toolbar on the right or left side of your screen.

instagram reels create screen with settings icon circled
instagram reels camera settings

The first tool in the side toolbar is the time duration. You can tap this icon to set your Reels recording time to either 15 or 30 seconds.

instagram reels with 15 second video duration option circled
instagram reels with 30 second video duration option circled

Next is the audio tool. The audio tool allows you to search for songs or sounds that you can use when recording your Reel. If you choose to create your own audio, you can save it to the audio library, and other Instagram users can find and use that audio in their Instagram Reels.

instagram reels audio tool
instagram reels audio library

The third tool sets the speed of your Reel. You can select speeds from 0.3X slower or 4X faster than the original recorded video clip. The speed tool can be useful if you have a lot of information you want to get through in the 30 second time limit.

instagram reels create screen with speed tool circled
instagram reels speed tool options

Next is the effects tool. The effects tool opens a gallery of different augmented reality filters and voice effects. You can use these to add some extra eye-catching visuals and playful sounds to your Reels.

instagram reels create screen with effects tool circled

The last tool is the timer. The timer shows a countdown on the screen that lets you know when the camera will start recording. You can set the countdown time for either 3 seconds or 10 seconds. This tool also allows you to set the duration of the recording, so you don’t have to use up your whole clip in one go. The timer tool is perfect for hands-free recording.

instagram reels create screen with timer tool circled
instagram reels timer tool options

At the bottom of the screen, there are three additional icons. The rectangular icon in the bottom left opens your camera roll on your tablet or mobile device so that you can upload video clips.

instagram reels create screen with upload video clip tool circled

The camera icon in the bottom right allows you to flip from your front-facing camera to the back camera, and vice versa.

instagram reels camera flip tool

The middle icon, which is the Reels icon, starts recording video directly in the app.

instagram reels record tool

Sharing Reels

After creating your Reel, you can share it on your Instagram feed.

To share a Reel, make sure that you have either uploaded or recorded video clips and added your desired audio and video effects. If you have, a right pointing arrow icon should appear to the right of the Reels icon towards the bottom of the screen. When you’re ready to share your Reel, tap on this arrow.

instagram reels next arrow circled

After you tap on the arrow, you will be given a preview of your Reel. This screen shows how it will appear to others in the Reels feed.

instagram reels preview screen with share to button circled

If you’re happy with your Reel in the preview, you can select “Share To” in the bottom right of the screen. This will open the sharing options page.

instagram reels sharing options

On this page, you can choose where you want to share your Reel. There are three options for sharing: in the Reels section of your profile, on the Reels feed, or on your Instagram story. Or, if you aren’t quite ready to share your Reel, you can save it as a draft to be published later.

If you only want to share your Reel with your followers and you don’t want it to appear on your profile or in the Reels feed, you can share it on your Instagram story.

If you’re looking to share Sharing to Reels and the Reels feed will allow more people to see your video. It’s a great way to get short, engaging content in front of new people, and potentially earn new followers and brand fans.

Once you have chosen your options, hit share, and your Reel will go live!

To see Reels that you’ve shared, go to your profile, and go to the Reels tab. Here you can review your previously shared Reels.

hubspot instagram account with instagram reels icon circled

Instagram Strategy

Congratulations – now you can start creating and sharing Instagram Reels! If you need some more help learning how to make Reels that will really drive in engagement, or you need assistance with Instagram as a whole, get in touch with us! We can help you create an Instagram strategy that gets results.

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