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Instagram Reels Templates: How to Use This New Feature

Originally published 8/12/2022 and updated on 7/24/2023

You can stop scratching your head while staring at the record button thanks to Instagram’s latest Reels feature update. Now, instead of creating every Reel from scratch, you can use Instagram Reels templates to copy clip timings of another Reel. The feature will automatically copy the formatting of the existing Reel, allowing you to insert your clips to make the video your own. 

How to Use the Instagram Reels Templates Feature

First, pick a Reel you want to remake and then drop your photos and videos into the template. The Reels editor will automatically adjust the clip lengths so they match the template’s timing. It’s that simple. 

Here are the steps in more detail:

  • Start by clicking the three dots on the bottom right of whatever Reel you want to use as a template. On Android, the dots will be vertical. On iOS, they’re horizontal. 
  • Next, tap “Use as template.” 
  • Tap “Add media” at the bottom of the screen and click the photos and videos you want to include in your Reel. Make sure you tap them in the order you want them to appear in your Reel. PRO TIP: If you batch film and have loads of clips in your camera roll at a time, you might want to create a folder for each Reel. iOS users can even reorder the clips by clicking the “More” button and then choosing “Custom Order.” With Android, just click the three dots, select “Edit Album,” then drag and drop your photos into the order you want. 
  • To replace a clip, click on it then click “Replace Media” and click whatever video you want to choose instead. 
  • Once you have your clips the way you want them, all you have to do is click “Next” to preview and post your Reel. 

Before this feature launched, recreating other Reels required syncing audio and adjusting the clip lengths manually. With the new templates feature, it all happens automatically. 

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How to Find Reels Templates

Instagram updated their Reels Templates Browser. You can now browse templates by category. You can now browse templates by category organized by Recommended, Trending, and templates. Once you’re in the Reel’s tab, click the camera icon in the top right corner of your screen and click on “Templates.” Browse the catalog of templates to find one that best fits your creative objective. Any Reel using three or more clips can be used as a template. This includes your own Reels. You can do this once and have fun or if you have a regular series, using your own Reels as a template for new content can speed up the content creation process each time you create a new Reel.

You can also use the in-app camera to record clips that automatically sync to the template and its audio. You would pick your template and then records the clips to fit in it. Hello, inspiration!

What this Means for Creators

Every new feature Instagram comes out with impacts the way we create and distribute content, ultimately affecting how we market our brands. Sometimes these changes are a pain (we’re looking at you, Stories update) and sometimes they’re a gold mine of inspiration. Luckily, this one fits into the second category. Here are the top three ways you can use Instagram Reels templates to change the way you create content:

#1 Edit Your Content Directly in the Instagram App

Here’s the deal - The Instagram Reels Templates feature makes creating and editing Reels in the Instagram app faster and easier. It makes creating with the Reels editor more enticing to users. This gift from the Reels gods could be a subtle hint that Instagram wants us to create and edit our Reels inside the Instagram app. 

As we said before, Reels need three or more clips to count as a template. so, if you edit your Reel in another app, Instagram will recognize it as one continuous clip and it can’t be used as a template. If the Reels algorithm is trying to follow TikTok’s footsteps, the number of times a Reel is used as a template could become a ranking factor.

Instagram makes it clear that the algorithm demotes content with visible watermarks from other apps. Reels Templates could possibly be the next step in using third-party editing apps to edit your Reels.

PLANOLY PRO-TIP:  Test using Reels Templates to edit your Reels along with how you regularly edit your videos and see if there is any difference in performance. 

#2 Use the Templates Tab to Brainstorm Content Ideas

Hop over to the “Templates” tab to browse repurposable Reels templates if you get the video production version of writer’s block. When you sit down to plan out your Reels for the month (with PLANOLY's visual planning for Reels, of course) just pop open the “Templates” page, pick a few, and churn ‘em out. It’s the perfect batch filming companion feature. 

#3 Love Something and Save it For Later

Whenever you spot a trending Reel that would vibe well with your audience, click “Use Template” to draft your Reel. If you don’t need to post right that moment, save it as a draft or schedule it for later in PLANOLY's Instagram planning workspace. This way, you can take advantage of any inspiration you come across while scrolling in your off-time. 

That’s a wrap. Now that you know the details about this amazing feature, let us know what you think and which Reels are inspiring you to make a template!

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Danielle Townsley

Danielle is the Social Media Manager at PLANOLY. She stays in the know of the latest industry trends and is always finding ways to create engaging and educational content for PLANOLY’s social platforms.

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