Instagram Reels will look a lot more like TikTok soon

Instagram just upgraded nearly every aspect of the Reels experience.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Instagram Close Friends Reels
Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Making Reels can be silly and fun. As a result, not every Reel you make is a well-produced video you want to share with your entire following, especially if you have an account that meshes your professional and personal life. Instagram finally released the solution.

This week, Mark Zuckerberg shared on his Broadcast channel that users would now be able to share Reels to their "Close Friends" list instead of all of their followers. 

Also: Like a song you hear on TikTok? Now one click adds it to your favorite music app

All you need to do to access this feature is upload a video the way you regularly would, but before clicking share, you would select a new "Audience" button. Once you click it, you will be given the option to share with "Everyone" or "Close Friends," as seen by the photo at the top of the article. 

If you haven't added people to your "Close Friends" list before, you can simply tap "Add people" under the "Close Friends" option and select the followers you would like to add. 

Instagram also added new features it is testing to make editing Reels a more seamless experience. These features make the Reels interface more similar to that found on TikTok, with options to scale, crop, rotate clips, and undo and redo edits. 

Instagram Reels new editing features

Instagram is also adding 10 English text-to-speech voices to choose from, the platform's take on TikTok's text-to-speech feature that has been on the app since 2020. To further revamp text, Instagram is adding six options to choose from and outlines to make the text stand out. 

Adding audio to your Reels is also getting easier. Instagram is testing new ways to access the audio browser, including quickly jumping to the audio page from the top of the camera roll. 

Also: What is Lapse? Everything to know about the popular invite-only social media app

It wouldn't be an entire Reels upgrade without some changes to Instagram Reels' drafts. To make it easier to see and edit all of your drafts, Instagram is introducing a streamlined view of drafts. Soon, you will be able to preview drafts, rename them, and schedule them.  

Lastly, Instagram is testing new ways to create custom stickers using your own photos and videos from your camera roll or eligible photos and videos found on Instagram. The custom stickers feature is supported by learnings from Meta's Segment Anything AI model. 

Instagram new fonts

On the analytics side, Instagram is introducing improved insights with a new metric called Replays under the Plays metric, in addition to Initial Plays.

New analytics for Reels

Over the coming months, Instagram will also roll out the ability to see how many people are watching a Reel moment-by-moment. 

Editorial standards