Instagram is adding TikTok-like Reels updates for editing and discovery

Instagram announced a slew of new features for its TikTok competitor Reels today, including a new way to edit videos and find trending content.

The biggest change is in the video editing process. Users will now be able to tweak uploaded video clips, audio, stickers, and text overlays all in the same screen instead of having to do it in separate steps. Stills shared by the company show a timeline editing feature similar to what TikTok has, which helps when lining up audio and video clips and makes transitions smoother.

Instagram users will also have a new way to find trending videos. Trends and challenges that are easy to recreate are part of what made TikTok an incubator for viral content, and until now, there wasn’t a quick way to see what was gaining traction on Reels. A new Reels page gathers hashtags and songs that are trending on Instagram, along with how many videos use that particular audio. Users can then save the audio for later or apply it to their own video directly.

The Reels update consolidates editing onto one screen.
Image: Instagram

The update also includes tools for creators to analyze the performance of their content and engage with fans. A new addition to the analytics dashboard will show the total time audiences spent watching a Reel, including replays, as well as the average watch time of the video and will notify a creator when a new follower found them through a Reel video.

Keeping content creators happy with how they make money on the platform has been a challenge for both Instagram and TikTok — both of which have been overhauling or cutting funds meant to reward users for high-performing content. One alternative for monetizing content has been virtual tips from fans, and TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram all have a version of the feature. A new update to the Reels gifting feature will show a creator which fans have sent them gifts; they’ll then be able to acknowledge it by tapping a heart icon.

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