How to Make a Reel on Instagram in 2023

Ready to go viral? Here's a easy to follow guide on how to make a kickass Instagram reel in 2023.

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Alexandra Ceambur
On This Page
  1. What are Instagram Reels?
  2. How to make a Reel on Instagram
  3. How to add music to your Instagram Reels
  4. How to add a countdown timer to your Instagram Reels
A cover image of a phone showing a person and the text Instagram Reels next to it.

What are Instagram Reels? Do they matter for businesses and marketers? If you’ve heard about this new feature but aren’t sure what it is, who it is for and how to use it, we’ll break it down for you in this post.

What are Instagram Reels?

Reels is a video editing tool similar to TikTok that allows users to record and edit 15 sec. videos and share them on Instagram. It’s designed to let people create short videos and funny memes that can be shared on Instagram stories, feed and sent to friends through messages.

They also have their own tab called “Top Reels” on the Explore page, where Instagram users can discover new and popular content. The Reels video editor comes with a new set of editing tools that include an audio library, camera effects, speed control and a countdown timer.

A diagram of 3 phones showing Instagram Reel videos or random users.

How to make a Reel on Instagram

1. Open the Instagram app

Open your Instagram Stories camera. If you have access to the feature, you’ll be able to see the “Reels” button. Tap on it to create a new video.

2. Learn about effects, speed & audio

On the left side of your screen, you’ll find a menu of video editing functions you can use to make your video entertaining. These are:

  • Audio - From here you can search for music tunes or sounds to go with your video using the in-built audio library.
  • Speed - This function allows you to control the speed of your video up to 3 x faster or slower.
  • Effects - This opens up the library of AR stories effects and camera filter
  • Timer - From here you can set a countdown timer so you have time to get ready before the camera starts recording

3. Record your Reel

Once you’re ready to start filming tap on the round Record button at the center of the screen. You can press and release the button to record a few different shots.

4. Edit your Instagram Reel

After you record your Reel video, you can finish it off by adding sticker, text animations and effects

5. Add a caption, hashtags and cover photo

After you’ve recorded your video, it’s time to complete your post. Write a short caption, add relevant hashtags and pick a cover photo, or you can upload a custom thumbnail from your camera roll.

6. Post your Reel on Instagram

Finally, it’s time to post your video. You have the option to share it to your Stories, on your Feed, in a direct message and on the Top Reels page where it has the potential to go viral.

How to add music to your Instagram Reels

  1. Before you start recording your Reel, open the Instagram music library to search for a song or audio tune
  2. Next, choose the part of the song you want to use in your Reel

Note: Since Reels are unlimited to 15 sec, most music tunes will exceed this limit so you’ll need to trim them manually

How to add a countdown timer to your Instagram Reels

When you are ready to record, click on the timer button to activate the countdown timer. This will give you a few seconds of extra time to position yourself before recording.

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