Discover the Hottest Trends and More Updates on Reels

April 14th, 2023

We strive to make Instagram a home for creators like you to express your creativity, connect with your audience, and earn a living. Today we're announcing improvements to Reels — that empower you to do what you do best.

Key updates:

  • Central destination to find trending audio and hashtags
  • Redesigned editing experience bringing together video clips, audio, stickers, and text
  • New insights on total watch time and average watch time to help you better understand how your reels are performing, plus new recognitions for hitting key milestones
  • Updates to gifts, including an easier way to recognize fans and bringing gifts to more creators internationally

Find Out What’s Trending on Reels

Creators are always looking to discover fresh content ideas, so now we're adding a dedicated destination for you to be inspired by the latest trends. You'll be able to see the top trending songs and hashtags on Reels, see how many times the audio has been used, tap in to use it, or save the audio for yourself:

“With comedy sketches, the audio has to be right and correlate to the mood of the video. A dramatic track helps the storytelling. I’m always on the lookout for audio, so this will allow me to save a bunch of sounds that are trending. As I begin the editing process, I’ll be able to quickly find saved audio that’s also trending.” - Sachin Kumar, @sckachi, comedy creator in LA

You’ll also be able to see what the top trending topics and hashtags are on Reels to inform your own content. For example, festival season might be trending earlier than you think! We’ve found that people actually start sharing their #coachella content before the festival even begins. These are the types of insights you can tap into with the new trends destination.

“Sometimes there’s pressure to stay in your niche as a creator. These trending topics will allow me to stretch myself and step outside of my normal bubble of conversation. For example, if basketball is trending although I’m a beauty creator, I can adapt that to speak about how skin care is still essential even during sports"

– Schae B, @schaebreezy_, LA-based beauty creator

Making it Easier to Edit Reels

We’re making it easier for you to edit your reels on Instagram by bringing together video clips, audio, stickers, and text on a unified editing screen. This makes it easier to align and time elements of your reel to the right moments in a more visual way. Keep an eye out for even more exciting tools to come as we continue to invest in more ways to make editing your reels simpler and easier. This is available globally, across both iOS and Android devices.

Updates to Reels Insights

We’re improving Reels insights to help you better understand how your content is performing. We’re adding two new metrics - total watch time and average watch time - and making it easier to see your insights while viewing your reels directly.

Total watch time captures the total amount of time your reel was played, including any time spent replaying the reel. Average watch time captures the average amount of time spent playing your reel, calculated by dividing watch time with the number of total plays. For example if your average watch time is 17 seconds, out of everyone who watched your Reel they watched an average of 17 seconds. This will help you better understand where people are being engaged or where you may need to create a stronger hook to have viewers stay longer.

“The number of views is just one part of assessing the performance of your Reels. It’s really important to go in and understand how your Reels are performing based on specific variables. I’m often testing different hooks or opening lines. Seeing the watch time will help me understand where viewers dropped off and then I can adjust the hook from there. Insights help me bridge the gap between me as a creator and my audience. I may think a video is amazing, but seeing watch time will allow me to better understand where my viewers are engaged.

-Sachin Kumar, @sckachi, comedy creator in LA

“Sometimes I’ll reshoot a video based on video insights. For example, I learned that people stopped watching if I was holding a product in my beauty tutorials for too long so I tailored my editing to make these scenes shorter and keep viewers engaged.”

– Schae B, @schaebreezy_, LA-based beauty creator

We’re also adding a new way to see how your reels are contributing to your growth. You’ll now receive a notification with new followers from your reels.

Improving and Expanding Gifts

We rolled out gifts on Reels last year so fans can show their appreciation for your content and you can earn money. Fans can send gifts on Reels by purchasing them directly in Instagram with Stars.

Today we’re excited to share our plan to bring gifts to even more creators with upcoming expansions to more markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, and the UK, in the coming weeks.

We’re also adding a new feature to show you which fans have sent you a gift so you can recognize your supporters. If you tap the heart icon next to your supporters, they’ll get a notification that you’ve seen and recognized their gift, providing an even stronger sense of connection between you and your fans.

Creators like you inspire people and shape everyday culture. We’re committed to building more products to help you grow and thrive on Instagram, and today’s updates are just a few of the ways we’re investing in your success. Click here to learn more about how we’re supporting creators across Instagram and Facebook.