You’ve likely been hearing a lot about Instagram Reels, Instagram’s response to TikTok, since it’s launched in 50 countries worldwide as of August 5, 2020. Instagram is keeping details about usage pretty secret so far, but we’ve uncovered some Instagram Reels statistics you’re going to want to see.
Before we get into the Instagram Reels stats, though, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what exactly this newest Instagram feature is and how it works to promote engagement.
20 Instagram Reels Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind:
What Is Instagram Reels?
The Reels feature is a new Instagram tool that lets users create and share short-form video content. Reels, like TikTok, lets you record and edit 15-second videos, add sounds and effects, and then share the videos either with your followers or, if you have a public account, with the larger Instagram community via the Explore page.
You may be wondering why you’d use Instagram Reels if you’re already using TikTok. For many Instagram influencers, Instagram Reels just makes sense. After all, you’ve already put in the time and energy to build a following on Instagram. Do you really want to put in that much effort on an entirely different platform while still having to maintain your Instagram presence? Probably not.
With Instagram Reels, you don’t have to.
You may also be wondering what the difference is between Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories. The honest answer is “not much.” Both give you the chance to create short-form video content that you can share with your audience. However, the differences are small but important.
First, Instagram Reels includes a wider range of video editing tools, effects, and speed controls than Instagram Stories. You can also use Instagram Reels to combine multiple videos using the align feature to create seamless transitions. Unlike Stories, Instagram Reels doesn’t allow the use of photos—all Reels must be video content. Another important difference between Stories and Reels is that Stories can only be shared with your followers. Reels, on the other hand, can be added to the Explore page where they’re available to the entire Instagram community (if your account is public).
If you’ve already used Instagram, TikTok, or any other TikTok alternative, you’ll have no problem getting started with Instagram Reels. But, even if you aren’t familiar with how any of those platforms work, it’s not hard to do. Here’s a really quick overview of how Instagram Reels works.
How Does Instagram Reels Work?
To create Instagram Reels, just choose the Reels option at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll then see the Reels editing tools on the left side of your screen. These editing tools include:
Audio: Search for and choose a song or sound from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own audio by simply recording a Reel with live audio. Keep in mind that when you share a Reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you and other users can create Reels with your audio by selecting Use Audio from your Reel (if you have a public account).
AR Effects: You can choose from several AR effects in Instagram’s effect gallery. These effects are created both by Instagram and users all over the world and can be used to record multiple clips with different effects.
Timer and Countdown: Instagram Reels has a timer feature that lets you record your video clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll get a countdown from three before the camera starts recording for the amount of time you’ve chosen.
Align: Instagram Reels has a really cool align feature that helps you line up objects from a previous clip before recording your next clip. This helps you create seamless transitions for things like outfit changes (a popular TikTok effect) or adding new friends into your Reel.
Speed: You can choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you’re using for your Instagram Reels. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos.
Instagram Reels Statistics You Need to Know
Now that we’ve discussed what features Instagram Reels has and what it can offer, let’s move to the latest Instagram Reels Statistics for 2022. These can be used to improve your Instagram marketing content plan and provide inspiration for more impactful campaigns using the feature.
1. Instagram is still among the most downloaded app
The social media app rose from fifth to first place as the most downloaded app in 2021’s fourth quarter. Instagram even beat TikTok at this time, which speaks to its continuous popularity in the social media sphere. However, in the first quarter of 2022, TikTok took back its leading position.
2. Instagram Reels first launched in Brazil
Reels is now available in more than 150 countries, but it was Brazil that got to try the feature first. Reels was able to increase Instagram users by 4.34% between October and November 2019 from just an average 1% each month.
Since its global launch back in 2020, Instagram Reels has become a popular feature for all types of content. Artistic reels, behind-the-scenes, how-to tutorials, product showcase, and humor content are all compatible with the format.
3. 87% of Gen Z’s view Reels and TikTok as “basically the same”
It’s apparent how Reels can compete with TikTok. Data from SMPerth shows that 87% of Gen Z users who have used both platforms agree that Instagram Reels is “basically the same as TikTok.”
This could very well be good news for marketing, as Instagram has more advertising, shopping, linking, and marketing capabilities that aren’t in TikTok.
4. Reels receive 22% more engagement than regular Instagram video posts
Compared to regular videos on Instagram, the Reels section gains more engagement from users. It also has a separate Reels tab exploration page, while video content is lumped with photos in the Explore Page.
5. Instagram Reels are wider than TikTok videos
You get to showcase more with IG reels—the app allows at least 8% more screen real estate compared to TikTok videos. With Tiktok, the right side bar takes up space on the screen. Instagram collapsed this on the bottom of the screen, giving you full view of the content. This may sound small, but it’s a way to get more of your videos seen instead of being partially hidden under a side bar of buttons.
6. There are more editing and marketing features in Reels
Reels recently rolled out updates that marketers can play with for their content creation:
- 60-second reels for longer content
- Remix allows you to create a new reel from a publicly shared reel
- Draft option for preparing content
- Video clipping to test effects and timing
Reels have also expanded to show paid ads since 2021. Since around 81% of people who use Instagram search for products and services, Reel ads can be an effective way for marketers to broaden exposure.
7. 61% of Gen Z TikTok users plan to spend more time on Reels
Surveys note that despite the consistent use in TikTok, most of the daily or weekly users find nothing inherently special about the app. Meanwhile, around 61% of TikTok users in the Gen Z age group plan to use Instagram in its place.
8. It’s better to go original with Reel content
Instagram Reels has gotten NBA franchises 22% higher engagement than the average engagements they’ve had from standard Instagram posts or Instagram Stories (Conviva).
Because Reels work much like TikTok, some Instagram accounts choose the easier route and just repost their TikTok content on Reels. But this is a no-no if you want to be on top of your marketing strategy. Instagram confirmed that Reels which have the TikTok watermark are less prioritized in the Instagram Reels tab and Explore Page.
So always create content directly in Instagram Reels, even if you have the same footage for your different social media accounts.
9. Instagram Reels is number one in engagement
Instagram Reels beat all other short-form video apps when it comes to engagement, having a global average of 53 minutes of viewing time per session.
10. Instagram Reels benefit from on-screen text and subtitles
The Houston Rockets led the league in total plays of their Reels, garnering more than 11.7 million plays across five videos, enough for them to rank second in overall engagement per Reel.
It’s crucial to keep your content as user-friendly as possible, and this includes adding subtitles in some form. Sometimes, viewers choose to mute sound while scrolling on IG. This is consistent with Facebook, where 85% of video content is watched on mute by default. Therefore, adding on-screen text and subtitles to your reels enables you to get the message across and better engage users. To make things easy, Instagram includes a Caption option when editing your Reel.
11. Instagram Reels has enhanced tags for collaborations
Proper crediting of content creators is essential if you’re posting about a collaborative event or piece, so Reels created an option to highlight the Tag and the Profile Category for that specific person or organization. The info will show up on In This Reel.
12. Nike gets an average of 4.6 million views for Reels
Makeup brand Sephora has been getting an average of 453,000 views on each of their Reels using makeup tutorials, product demos, and user-generated content.
The sports brand giant has a consistent rate of engagement for their Reels. Their highest Reel view count so far is 6.6 million, with 216 million followers and an average 0.12% engagement rate.
13. Instagram users spend an average of 30 minutes on the app
Whether scrolling through new Reels or looking up new brands and communities, adult Instagram users spend on average 30 minutes per day on the app.
Most of the well-known brands recognize the engagement potential on Instagram and continue marketing via Instagram Reels. Apart from Nike, major brands like Louis Vuitton, H&M, and NatGeo have Instagram Reel views that exceed 3 million on average.
14. Instagram increased in app download and use in India
After reels was soft-launched in India last July 2020 and then made officially available in August the same year, there was an 11.4% increase in downloads. That short span of time enabled about a million more users to join the platform. Also, the time users spent on average increased slightly, by around 3.5% after Reels was introduced.
15. Influencer Khaby Has the Most Viewed Reel
It can really make you wonder, but a simple video of Khaby featuring the “common sense” style content gained him millions of followers. He has the highest number of views on a post about going back and forth in the room to check if his iron is turned off—with the Reel gaining a staggering 283 million views and 12 million likes. Although Instagram has only launched Reels around two years ago, it has already created a content sensation.
16. Sports teams are enjoying the impact of Instagram Reels
Conviva looked at the top 10 sports teams from basketball, football, and baseball and ranked their engagements on Insta Reel content. A month’s worth of stats showed that the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA led with over 266,000 engagements on average. This, compared to their average 134,000 Instagram video engagements, show that Reels are more interesting for users who see both types of content.
The trend is the same with football team New England Patriots, which received 500% more engagement with their Reels content than their video uploads. It goes to show that for brands that already have a loyal following, creating content in Reel form increases interest and engagement.
17. Fashion brands are also benefiting from Reels
Even though fast fashion has gained flack recently due to their negative environmental impact, brands like Zara and H&M are still steadily engaging viewers positively on Instagram. Zara for instance, have 150 million views total on their Reel posts, while H&M has about 33 million views from 17 Reels.
18. Accounts can post reels on their Feed and Stories
To widen the reach, it’s a good practice to share your Reel in your account grid and Stories. This is where the strength of Instagram lies: their features create different types of engagement avenues for its users.
Maximizing these avenues is a must—for instance, this analysis showed that an NBA team Memphis Grizzlies’ reel that wasn’t posted in their IG feed and was only published in the Reels tab only received 22 engagements despite the account having over 1 million followers.
If aesthetics is your concern, there won’t be any problem with Reels ruining the look of your grid if you cover the Instagram Reel with a GIF or an image that serves as a cover image for the video.
19. Reels are seen in the Explore page
Reels have great reach partly because they can be placed on your Feed, on your Stories, on the Reels tab, and the Explore page. You can get more reach for your content through these avenues, especially in the Explore page where 50% of Instagram users go to discover new content. In numbers, that’s about 200 million viewers.
If your Instagram reel has the relevant keywords, good quality content, and good practices, it’s likely to be picked up by the algorithm and suggested on the Explore page.
20. Reels need hashtags
Just make sure not to use too many! Instagram reels with around 3-5 hashtags relevant to the content itself will help the Instagram algorithm pinpoint your content to which audiences it should be shared. Here is our free Hashtag Generator Tool to get you started.
Summary of Instagram Reels Statistics
- Instagram Reels launched as Cenas in Brazil, November 2019.
- Brazil’s Instagram users typically increase by 1% each month.
- Brazil’s Instagram users increased by 4.34% between October 2019 and November 2019 (when Cenas/Reels was released).
- Facebook updated and expanded Instagram Reels into the France and Germany markets on June 24, 2020.
- Instagram Reels was released in India on July 12, 2020.
- Instagram downloads in India increased from 7 million downloads in the 30 days prior to the launch of Instagram Reels to 7.8 million downloads after the launch (an increase in Instagram downloads of 11.4%).
- Instagram averages 100 million daily active users in India after the launch of Instagram Reels (same as before the launch).
- The average time spent on Instagram in India increased by 3.5% since the launch of Instagram Reels.
- Instagram Reels is available in 50 countries as of August 5, 2020.
- Two-thirds of the NBA’s franchises have posted at least one Reel since the feature launched in the United States.
- NBA franchises are getting 22% higher engagement with Instagram Reels as compared to Instagram posts or Instagram Stories.
- The Los Angeles Lakers top the league in engagement on Instagram Reels with more than 385,000 engagements and more than 4.1M plays on a single video.
- The Houston Rockets lead the league in total plays of their Reels with more than 11.7M plays across five videos.
- Louis Vuitton averages 7M views on each Reel.
- Sephora France gets more than 453K views on each Reel.
- Red Bull France has several viral Reels with more than 2.4M views on their most popular Reel.
- Fashion influencer Junesixtyfive has gotten more than 2.7M views on her outfit change transition Reel.
- Balmain gets more than 1.2M views and 100K+ likes on each Reel.
Instagram Reels as a TikTok Alternative
Before we close, it’s important to take a look at how Instagram compares to TikTok, the short-form video giant is was created to complete with. If TikTok disappeared tomorrow, it’s likely that many TikTok influencers would flock to Instagram Reels since they likely already have a presence and following on the Instagram platform.
But, if we’ve learned anything about marketing to Gen Z, it’s that they like to march to the beat of their own drum. That means it’s just as likely that the Millennials, Gen Xers, and Xennials who’ve found a home on TikTok would head on over to Instagram Reels while Gen Z opts for another of the popular TikTok alternatives (or finds something entirely new).
Instagram Reels is built right into the Instagram platform as just another feature and there’s not an easy way to find and watch Reels, so it has a long way to go before it will be a direct competitor for TikTok. However, for Instagram influencers who already have a following on Instagram, Reels might be a better option than TikTok where it can be harder to gain and maintain traction.
TikTok also offers a lot more in terms of video editing tools, effects, and sounds. And, since other social media platforms like Snapchat are creating filters and lenses for TikTok, it seems that TikTok is going to continue to outperform Instagram Reels with its features.
The potential of Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a nice addition to Instagram’s features and is still evolving as a creative way to engage and strengthen brand following. Reels offer something slightly different from Stories since you can share your Reels with the entire Instagram community if you have a public account (whereas Instagram Stories are only available for your followers).
As the feature becomes more mature, it will be interesting to see how brands and influencers are able to leverage the popularity of the Instagram platform to make Reels work for their businesses. As we’ve pointed out with examples like the NBA, brands are already seeing increases in engagement from using the Reels feature, but there’s still a lack of real numbers available.
Check back often to get all the latest Instagram Reels statistics!
Instagram Reels is a nice addition to Instagram’s features and offers something slightly different from Stories since you can share your Reels with the entire Instagram community if you have a public account (whereas Instagram Stories are only available for your followers).
As the feature becomes more mature, it will be interesting to see how brands and influencers are able to leverage the popularity of the Instagram platform to make Reels work for their businesses. As we’ve pointed out with the NBA, brands are already seeing increases in engagement from using the Reels feature, but there’s a severe lack of real numbers available.
Check back often to get all the latest Instagram Reels statistics!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a new feature on Instagram. It was launched on August 5, 2020 in 50 countries. You can use it to create and share short-form video content with your followers. Similarly to TikTok, you can use it to record and edit videos that are 15 seconds long. You can also add effects and sounds. If you have a public account, you can also share your content with the bigger Instagram community by means of Explore page.
How Do I use Instagram Reels?
Select the Reels option (you will see it at the bottom of the Instagram camera). Then, use the Reels editing tools found on the left of your screen. Using the editing tools, you can then add audio and AR effects or choose to slow down or speed up parts of your video/audio. Thanks to the timer and countdown, you can also record your video clips hands-free.
What is better: Instagram Reels or TikTok?
Instagram Reels was designed as an alternative to TikTok. Though, there’s still a long way before it will be a direct competitor for TikTok. For example, TikTok provides many more video editing tools, sounds and effects. Also, seeing that social media platforms such as Snapchat have created filters and lenses specifically for TikTok, the chances are good that TikTok will continue to perform better than Instagram Reels. It will be interesting to see how influencers and brands will leverage this new feature as it matures.
Is Instagram Reels good?
There are a few brands that have used Instagram Reels successfully. The NBA franchises have reported that they have managed to increase their engagement by 22% compared to the average engagements that their standard Instagram Stories and posts have generated. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers have gained over 385,000 engagements and over 4.1 million plays from just one video. Louis Vuitton has also reported that all of their Reels have gone viral.
What is the difference between Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels?
To be honest, there are not many differences between the two features. Reels is only slightly different from Stories as you can share your Reels with the whole Instagram community if you have a public account. Another minor difference is that Instagram Reels offers a bigger selection of video editing tools, effects and speed controls. For example, with the align tool, you can combine multiple videos seamlessly. Though, unlike with Stories, when using Instagram Reels, you may only use video content and no photos.