Instagram Reels takes on TikTok with new short-form video feature

Instagram's Remix feature will let you record a video alongside another user's video like on TikTok.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
Queenie Wong
Instagram Reels
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Instagram Reels

Instagram has a short-form video product known as Reels.

James Martin/CNET

Instagram said Wednesday it's rolling out a new feature for its short-form video product Reels that allows people to record a video alongside someone else's video.

The release of Instagram's Remix feature shows that the Facebook-owned photo service is ramping up its efforts to compete against popular short-form video app TikTok , which already has a similar tool called Duets. Other companies such as Google-owned YouTube and disappearing messaging app Snapchat have also been rolling out new products that compete with TikTok. In February, YouTube launched its short-form video feature known as Shorts. Snapchat also appears to be working on a feature that's similar to TikTok's Duets feature, TechCrunch reported.

To use Instagram Reels' new Remix feature, you tap the three grey dots at the top right hand side of a video and click "Remix This Reel." You can also upload a pre-recorded video. Instagram also said that only newly-uploaded Reels have the new feature enabled by default but you can enable the tool on older videos. The company breaks down how to use the feature in this tweet:

Instagram launched Reels last August in more than 50 countries, including the US, UK and Australia. The company hasn't said how many people are using Reels, which is incorporated in the Instagram app. Reels allows you to record videos up to 30 seconds long.