YouTube has announced a new feature: Reels.
The Google-owned video platform revealed in a blog post, which mostly discussed the expansion of the Community tab, that it is introducing Reels as a way of giving its users the ability to share content in the popular "stories" format that's already available on Snapchat and Instagram: "Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular 'stories' format," it explained, "but designed specifically for YouTube creators."
It's early days still, and the company hasn't said much about the feature, though we were able to parse some facts together in order to provide you with a more fuller picture of how Reels will work on YouTube. Here's what you need to know.
What is YouTube Reels?
In an attempt to give video creators more ways to express themselves and engage with fans, YouTube has unveiled its own take on Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, where you can capture photos or videos, then decorate them with text, art, filters, and more, and broadcast them to followers via a stitched-together reel that'll play out like a story to viewers. But it disappear after 24 hours.
Google said it's also bringing creator-focused features like the ability to link to YouTube videos and add "YouTube-y stickers" to Reels. Keep in mind you can also add links and stickers to stories on Snapchat and Instagram. Check out these guides for more information:
How do YouTube Reels work?
Reels tab in YouTube mobile app
According to TechCrunch, Reels will be given their own tab in the YouTube mobile app. They'll be separate from a creator’s traditional YouTube videos, because the whole idea of Reels is to give people a way to share quick content without having to make a full-on video.
Multiple Reels that don't disappear
The Verge said that, unlike other Stories features, Reels won’t disappear after 24 hours. Also, YouTube will let creators have multiple Reels, and each one will hold its own set of videos. Mind you, with Snapchat and Instagram, your posts are temporary and part of one, singular story.
How do you make a Reel?
30-second mobile videos
Again, details are light at the moment. The feature is not yet generally available, so we haven't had a chance to test it ourselves. However, according to TechCrunch, to make a Reel, you shoot “a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each,” then you can fancy them up with filters, music, and text, and after that, you can pick a Reel to add them to - whether that be a new one or existing one.
When can you try YouTube Reels?
Reels are being tested among a small group of the YouTube video creators. There's no word when they'll get a wider rollout.