What are Featured Reels?

With the rise in popularity of TikTok, there’s also been an increase in the number of content creators and influencers. Having seen an upward count in the consumption of short-form videos, Instagram is now releasing Reels, which will work in a similar fashion to that of TikTok.

Instagram Reels will allow users to create short-form videos of up to 15 seconds time-limit with their own choice of audio from thousands of pre-loaded songs that are available in the platform’s library. The Reels will show up on your follower’s feed as well as on Instagram’s Explore page so that your content reaches a wider group of people.

In this post, we’ll be discussing this specific set of Reels, how it compares to Tiktok’s biggest feature, and why it matters if you’re a content creator.

What is the Featured label on Reels?

Featured Reels are those Reels that are displayed on the Explore tab inside Instagram. The Explore previously featured popular videos and pictures by brands, influencers, celebrities, and other popular accounts based on what’s trending on the platform, people you follow, posts you liked, account you often visit, and your interests.

Instagram says that the Explore tab will now start showcasing the best Reels along with other posts based on what is trending on Instagram and your interests. These Reels will be handpicked by Instagram and could be made by anyone whose account is set to public.

When Instagram selects your Reels, you’ll be notified about it and your Reels will now be available for viewing to more people than your followers.

Are Featured Reels similar to videos on TikTok’s FYP?

Instagram’s Reels feature is brought to lure users and content creators away from TikTok. If you’re someone who has previously used TikTok, you’d know that upon opening the app, you’ll be shown streams of short videos under two tabs – Following and For you.

The ‘Following’ page shows you videos from the people you follow while the ‘For you’ page (FYP) displays popular videos based on your interest, what you liked, or watched in the past. TikTok is known to use an algorithm that modifies the ‘For you’ page so that it’s personalized for each and every TikTok user.

Instagram’s Featured Reels are a selection of public reels, handpicked by Instagram in a way that users explore more content based on what they love. Thus in many ways, Featured Reels takes some inspiration from the ‘For you’ page that has been the defining feature on TikTok.

The only difference comes in the form of feature-positioning. While the ‘For you’ page is what you’re greeted with when you launch TikTok, Featured Reels can only be accessed from the Explore tab on Instagram. This means you’ll have to first open the Instagram app and then tap on the Explore tab at the bottom to see all the Featured Reels that are generated for you.

Why should Featured Reels matter to you

Since Featured Reels give you a chance to be visible on the Explore tab on Instagram, you, as a content creator can gain more activity and with that, more followers on your account. If one of your Reels gets featured on the Explore tab, you will be able to reach a wider base and you also earn a likelihood of being featured again.

It’s reported that over 50 percent of daily users on Instagram actively use the Explore tab to discover content. This establishes the Explore tab as the second home for many Instagram users, which will in turn make you more discoverable than ever.

With Featured Reels, you will not only be competing with other content creators but also be featured alongside videos from brands, celebrities, and other popular accounts on Instagram. Your videos can thus become an instant hit even if your video appeared as a Featured Reel on a fraction of Instagram’s user base.

Can I make Featured Reels if my account is set to ‘Private’?

No. For your Instagram Reel to be eligible to appear on the Explore tab for others, your Instagram account should first be set as ‘Public’. If your account is set as ‘Private’, you will only be able to share your Reels for your followers on your Instagram Feed or on Stories. Additionally, people won’t be able to share your Reel in their feed or story, neither can they use the original audio that was available in your Reels.

You thus need to make your account private to get a chance to appear inside the Explore tab. When you do that, your Reels will be available for viewing across a larger userbase with the likelihood of being discovered by new people. Users will also be able to share your Reels on their account, and use its original audio to make a video of their own, thus increasing the chances of your Reel to appear and stay on the Featured Reels section.

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