How to Create Instagram Reels

Last updated 9 months ago

Your Reels feed is located within the Instagram app and is the middle icon. You can like, comment, and send a Reel just as you do a post.

Reels Audio

On the lower left of the screen you will see the name of the audio that is playing. Audio is simply the sound that is playing in the video. This could be a song, a movie or tv quote, or someone speaking. You can tap on the sound title or on the square icon in the same line but on the right. It will look like an album cover. If you see a white arrow that is pointing up and to the right next to the sound that means it is trending. Trending audio means that the sound is popular and the algorithm is showing videos with that audio more often. Using trending audio is a great way to get your videos seen and show that you are relevant. Once you find an audio that you would like to use you can tap on it and then save or use it right away.

Create a Reel

There are two ways to begin creating a Reel. You can click on the “create” button which is the plus sign with the box around it or go to the Reels feed and tap on the camera icon in the upper right hand corner. Once in the Reels editor, you will see various tools on the side of the screen.

  • The music note represents your audio. Tapping on this icon will pull up suggested audio clips, clips that you have saved, and will give you a search bar so you can search for something specific. After a song has been chosen, sliding the scale at the bottom will change which part of the audio you are using.
  • The length tool is next and will allow you to set the length of your video. This is useful when filming live and can be set to 15, 30, or 60 seconds.
  • That is followed by the speed tool which, when filming live, will allow you to speed up or slow down your video clip.
  • Next you’ll see the grid tool which will allow you to place clips in a set grid.
  • Lastly, you’ll find the timer tool which sets a countdown clock and overall timer for your clip. This is also used when filming live.
  • At the very bottom you’ll see effects which are filters that change the look and style of your video.
  • Also at the bottom are the arrows for changing the camera orientation from front to back.
  • The lower left corner will give you access to your camera roll.

When filming your clip live or adding in previously recorded videos or photos you will be able to see how much time has been taken up by looking at the top of your screen and looking at the pink bar.

  • Once a photo or video has been taken you will see the align feature. This helps you to line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next one to help create seamless transitions.
  • If you would like to add photos or videos that you have previously taken, tap the add button in the lower left. This will pull up your camera roll. Tapping on the icon that looks like photos stacked on top of each other will allow you to choose multiple items at once.
  • The Green screen button allows you to choose a photo as your background, similar to how a green screen works.
  • Once you have added clips and photos you can hit the back arrow next to the main camera button. There you will see all of the video elements lined up. You can then trim or delete clips. Once you are finished you can choose the preview button to see everything put together.


When in the preview setting you will notice tools at the top of your screen.

  • The arrow pointing down will allow you to save the clip to your camera roll.
  • The audio tool here works a bit differently than previously discussed. It allows you to control the camera audio (any background noise you may have in your video already), add a voiceover, music, or sound effects. You can also adjust the volume of all four here.
  • The three stars represent effects that you can add. These include ones that you have saved and ones that Instagram offers.
  • The next button is stickers. The most useful one is the Captions sticker that will take anything you have spoken and will automatically generate captions for it.
  • The squiggle line brings up the drawing tool and allows you to draw on your screen.
  • Lastly, the text button allows you to type and then add text on your video.

Adding Text

Once text has been added to the video you will notice it pops up in bubbles at the bottom of the screen. Tapping on the text bubble will then allow you to choose where that specific segment of text shows up in the video and for how long. This is determined by sliding the two vertical white bars at the bottom. This can also be done with stickers to determine how long they show on screen and when.

To Finish

Once you are happy with your video, click the “done” button and you will be taken to the final screen where you can add your caption and tag other accounts.

  • You’ll notice that there is the word “cover” over your clip. Tapping on it allows you to choose what will be the cover of your video and will be shown as a still image before the video plays and on your feed. This can be taken from any part of your video or you can upload from your camera roll. You can edit the size of this photo by choosing the crop profile image button.
  • Be sure to toggle on the “Also Share to Feed” button so that your Reel is shown in the home feed as well as the Reels feed.
  • Tag other accounts or choose a collaborator, share to other instagram accounts, rename your audio, add your location and share your video.
  • If you are not ready to post, choose “Save as draft” and you will be able to come back to finish or post it later.