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How to Use Instagram Reels

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If you’re still on the fence about whether to wade into the world of TikTok—or looking for an alternative as TikTok’s future remains uncertain—Instagram is begging for your creative energy.

The platform’s new Reels feature lets users record, edit and publish bite-sized videos that get added to a discoverable social feed. Videos can be up to 15 seconds long be layered with special effects, filters and separate audio tracks.

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This may sound a lot like Instagram Stories, but there are a few key differences, as well as some reasons you might prefer one over the other:

  • Reels offers a wider variety of editing tools, including AR effects, speed controls for speeding up or slowing down audio and video, and the ability to align multiple clips for cleaner transitions.
  • Reels can be shared to Instagram’s Explore feed (as long as your account is public) so people who don’t follow you can find them—a perk for people who want to build a following.
  • If you include original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and other users can include it in their own reels.

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Basically, Reels is very similar to TikTok, just rebuilt within Instagram (and admittedly without a few of TikTok’s essential features, like the ability to “duet” or upload songs directly). It’s not too far off from when Instagram launched Stories, which essentially duplicated a lot of the functionality of Snapchat.

Here’s how to use it.

How to use Instagram Reels

Illustration for article titled How to Use Instagram Reels

Screenshot: David Murphy

To create a reel, open the Instagram camera just like you would to use Stories, and select Reels on the bottom scroll bar. You’ll see the editing tools stacked on the left side of the screen. Use the record button to create your clip or series of clips (there’s a progress bar at the top of the screen to show how much of your 15 seconds you’ve used). Tap the arrow at the bottom when you’re ready to publish.

From there, you’ll have the option to write a caption, choose a cover image, add hashtags and share your video to Reels (if your account is public). Reels will appear on Explore and be stored on a tab on your profile page, similar to IGTV.

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Another option for both public and private accounts is to post reels to your Feed—they’ll appear on your main grid and on the Reels tab. You can also choose to send your reel as a DM or post it to your Stories—both of which will treat your video like a regular Story that disappears after 24 hours.

To watch other users’ reels, tap the search icon on the main toolbar. Reels are featured at the top, and all you have to do is tap and scroll to cycle through the clips. From there, you can follow users and like, share and comment on reels directly.

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This post was originally published on August 5, 2020 and updated on September 17, 2020 with a video.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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