Confused by Instagram Reels? You’re not the only one

When it comes to video, Instagram has become a pretty confusing place of late. With the introduction of Reels last summer, there's now a grand total of four(!) places to post video on the platform, and users have made no secret of their confusion. Now, the head of Instagram has admitted he isn't pleased with situation – and promises big changes are on the way.

Speaking on The Verge's Decoder podcast, Adam Mosseri said he's "not yet happy" with the Reels, and admitted that rival platform TikTok is way ahead. While there are a few ways of customising your bio (such as changing your Instagram font), Mosseri says the company plans to add more creative options specifically for video, such as original filters and effects. Update: Instagram has since doubled down on its introduction of Reels. See what's new in Instagram Reels


Instagram Reels launched last August (Image credit: Instagram/Future owns)

But before that, the company needs to sort out the frankly baffling state of its video offering. Instagram is currently juggling various video formats: Reels, Stories, IGTV and standard feed videos. Confused? As the tweets below show, you're not alone.

Mosseri has admitted that there's "probably too nuanced a distinction to resonate with anybody" – In other words, nobody knows the difference. Perhaps the simplest way of looking at it is: Reels = TikTok, IGTV = YouTube, Stories = Snapchat.

But in potentially great news for confused content creators, Mosseri hints that Instagram could soon end up consolidating its video offering. "We’re looking about how we can — not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram — simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets," he told the podcast. "I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

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Once that's out of the way, Mosseri says the company can focus on ways for users to make their videos more creative. Unlike TikTok, Instagram doesn't currently offer its own filters and effects. "I think we have to get better at building more powerful and creative tools to give people who are more creative than us and make content for a living the ability to make something that’s going to pop,” he says.

More creative options will certainly be good news for content creators, as well the news that the platform may be simplifying its video tools. Indeed, if you're rocking one of the best camera phones, it would be nice to be able to showcase your videos without also requiring an PhD in Advanced Algebra.

While we wait for Instagram to get its act together, here are 5 easy ways to transform your social media videos. And if you're looking for the best kit for filming on the go, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro – check out today's best deals below.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).