As the US Government threatens to ban TikTok, Facebook launched Instagram Reels yesterday.  It’s been a highly anticipated launch as a competitor to TikTok for making short-form videos.  

It may have taken me 2 years to get on TikTok – follow me here, but I updated my Instagram immediately to check out Instagram Reels!

First Impressions of Instagram Reels vs. TikTok

I think Facebook really rushed the launch of Instagram Reels to potentially capture a new younger audience if TikTok does indeed get banned.  But unfortunately, they came out with an add on to Instagram that lacks features and is hella buggy.

I’ll admit as an old person it took me a while to figure out TikTok, mostly because I had refused to create an account, but once I did, it was easy!  There were a few features I found that irritating and didn’t make sense to my PC trained mind (like adding transitions as the video played).  But otherwise, I found it user friendly.

Now Instagram Reels, I literally just started using it.  AND yes it’s already buggy!!  And it seems to lack most of the features on TikTok.  My first impression?  It’s like they remade stories! Yes, basically you are recording a longer story!

Features Missing in Instagram Reels

No Music Button on Instagram Reels

This doesn’t affect everyone, but I don’t have the music button in Instagram Reels (see screen shot below of my Reels), I can’t add music to any of my Reels.  I even watched a long youtube video on how to fix this problem, which requires me to uninstall Instagram and install some VPN software.  No thanks.  Instagram can you please just put out a patch.  Thanks!

instagram reels vs tiktok

Adding Clips is a Pain

I rarely record in any app.  I never did for TikTok.  I prefer to record clips then stitch it all together later for posting.  Well, stitching is NOT easy in Reels.  First, you can’t select several clips then reorder and change speed on each clip as you can in TikTok.  In Reels, you can only add clips individually.  Once you add a clip though you can’t change it or reorder or change the speed of that clip.  Basically acts like it’s recording live when you add a clip.  This is SUPER annoying.  And again reminds me of stories instead of a short-form video app.

You Can’t Adjust Your Clips or Add Transitions or Effects in Reels

If you pre-record your clips there’s no real way to adjust them in Reels like adding effects and changing the speed.  This is super annoying!!  It’s a pretty basic video editing feature and Reels does not have it, but TikTok does.  

Conclusions on Instagram Reels Vs. TikTok

I can only see posting short single clips on Instagram Reels.  It really lacks any of the video editing features TikTok has to offer because Facebook really rushed it out.  If TikTok manages to stay in the USA market I doubt users will migrate over to Reels.  Instagram Reels is honestly just like stories, except it’s got its own page and you can use hashtags.  I see Reels as a new feature for current Instagram users, but it’s not a great replacement for TikTok.  Hopefully, Facebook will add more robust editing features to Instagram Reels soon.  So far I’m pretty disappointed with Reels. 

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