Instagram Updates Reels and Stories To Allow Better Manoeuvrability

Instagram’s bringing some changes to their Reels and Stories features, which are minor in scale, but can bring about a better user experience.

Reels, as most people on Instagram will be familiar, is a feature that revolves around users making short, 15 second videos accompanied with audio cues such as music, dialogue, etc. If people find this concept jarringly similar to another social media video-sharing platform famous for people making lip-syncing videos to the tune of songs and clips. Yes, the feature is very clearly influenced from the ever-popular darling of Generation Z, TikTok, and is almost definitely made to issue competition to the online platform.

One of the new features added to Reels involves the usage of voice mixing, as spotted by Matt Navarra. In the past, people could either film with audio from songs and clips provided by Instagram, or they could use the dialogue during filming. No two ways about it. These latest features not only allow for voice-overs to be added to conventional shorts, but also provide users with the options of mixing volumes properly to provide the optimal result. For example, one may make a skit and add a voice-over narration to it. Well, Reels will now allow them to crank the volume on the narration to full, and reduce the skit’s background rabble to zero. Mixing also allows users to either add their own voices as part of the voice-over track, or use Instagram’s available library of tracks.

Other, less impactful tweaks to the status quo include adding an eponymous logo in the upper left-hand corner of Reels videos (this author can almost hear voices in the distance yelling “that’s exactly what TikTok does”). 

Another edit seems to involve, well, the editing features for Reels. A new icon has now been assigned in the bottom left-hand corner with new editing tools to boot. Finally, clicking on the Advanced Settings option shown right before sharing a Reel will give users the ability to tag whatever branded content they have in the video (the branding partner will be referenced via a label in the Reel).

Over to the other side of Instagram, let’s talk Stories. A new “Camera Booth” mode has been spotted by some keen-eyed individuals. The booth feature apparently allows people to take multiple shots at the same time, just like an actual photo booth. Another noted upgrade includes the “colour grade” feature, which will let users dictate how much a filter shows through on photos and videos. Rather minor changes overall, but these are mostly focused on improving user experience, instead of adding more to it. For now, that is.
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