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How to Create Better Instagram Reels In Less Time


Looking for a faster and easier way to create Instagram reels? If you’re wondering when the best time is to use native tools and when to use a third-party app, then read on!…

What you need to know about the new Instagram Reels editor

Ever since Instagram launched Reels in 2020, the platform has offered relatively basic editing tools for short-form video. For years, Reels has offered in-app options like text overlays, stickers, audio, and filters. But Instagram’s editor has never had a fully featured timeline, making it difficult to get timing and placement right for each element.

As a result, many marketers have come to rely on third-party editing apps that offer more advanced tools. Although there’s nothing wrong with using third-party video editors, they add an extra step to an already lengthy short-form workflow. So if you’re looking to streamline your system, Instagram’s new tools (available now on iOS and Android) may help.

In April 2023, Meta announced several new features for Instagram Reels, including advanced editing tools and enhanced watch time insights. In addition, the platform is launching a new portal for finding trending Reels content.

From your professional dashboard, you’ll be able to discover trending Reels audio, hashtags, and topics. If your short-form video strategy depends largely (or even in part) on what’s trending, this portal is likely to save your team a lot of time. When you find a trend that fits your brand, you can tap to start creating right away.

If your workflow usually involves switching over to a third-party video editing app, you won’t be able to act on these Reels trends quite as easily. But if you’ve mastered the new in-app tools and figured out how to edit your reels directly in Instagram, you’ll be able to hop on quality Instagram Reels trends faster. You’ll also be able to use the platform’s in-app templates more efficiently.

How to Create Reels With Instagram’s New Editing Tools

Because Instagram now offers in-app creative and scheduling tools, it’s becoming increasingly possible to use the mobile app as a one-stop destination for producing short-form video. Let’s take a look at the new Reels editing tools…

Pick a Starting Point

When you create reels directly in Instagram, you can choose from a handful of different starting points. If you’ve already filmed or sourced the video footage you want to use, you can tap to add multiple clips totalling up to 90 seconds.

Apply Effects and Filters, and Add Markups

No matter how you start creating a reel, tap Next after you’ve filmed or added all of the clips for the video. If you’ve created reels in the Instagram app before, the main editing screen should look familiar.

Edit Video Clips on the Reels Timeline

To access the timeline, tap the Edit Video button in the lower-left corner. Instagram users can now edit reel clips directly from here. Need to change the order of the clips? Tap the Reorder button in the lower-left corner and then drag and drop until they display in the correct order.

Need to trim a clip you filmed or one you added to a template? Tap the clip on the timeline until the yellow slider appears. Then use the slider to adjust the beginning or end of the clip as necessary. You can also tap the red Discard button to remove a clip completely.

Add Text, Stickers, and Audio on the Reels Timeline

After editing the video clips, you can add text, stickers, and audio from the Reels timeline. Tap the Sticker button to access the Reels sticker tray. Here, you can add captions, polls, emoji sliders, and GIFs. Note that interactive stickers like polls and emoji sliders display for the entire length of the reel. Currently, there’s no way to change that.

Select Interactive Elements and Publish

If you’re planning to publish to TikTok, YouTube, or another short-form video platform, it’s a good idea to save your work before going any further. Keep in mind that although reels drafts don’t have watermarks, they’re missing audio. It’s easy enough to add music via other platforms but keep in mind you may need to recreate any voiceovers when cross-posting.

When to Use a Third-Party App for Short-Form Video

As helpful as Instagram’s newly updated tools are, editing in the app isn’t always the right choice for every short-form video or creative team workflow. If you’re planning to cross-post to TikTok or you need even more advanced editing tools, you’ll need a third-party app. We recommend using one of the following: Canva, Inshot, CapCut. All three of these third party apps offer a great way to delve even deeper into detail with your Reels, but if you want to save time then stick to the above and you can’t go wrong!

Instagram’s new short-form video editing features make the platform a much more viable option as an all-in-one creative tool for Reels. Although third-party tools may be necessary in some cases, marketers can now use the Instagram app to produce high quality reels quickly with powerful editing features, ultimately simplifying short-form video workflows. Good luck!…