In case you haven’t heard, Instagram is adjusting its recommendations to disincentivize reposted content. Even with that change, don’t expect all of the clips you find on Insta to be wholly original.
Case in point: The popular photo and video app is testing a feature that would copy and paste popular formats across its TikTok competitors. Some users have been granted the ability to create Reels based on preexisting templates.
According to TechCrunch, which cited a previous report from Business Insider, Instagram’s Templates are currently limited to a “small group of creators.” A spokesperson for the Meta-owned service told TechCrunch that the platform is “testing the ability for you to make a reel using an existing Template from another reel.”
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On Instagram, this sort of feature has been anticipated for some time. Earlier in 2022, keen-eyed Twitter user Alessandro Paluzzi spotted a “use as template” option lurking on the app. By March, some creators had gotten wind of the feature’s beta test. “‘Use as template’ allows user to replace the clips with your own and it will match the time stamps of the template reel,” influencer Josephine Hill tweeted at the time.
Templates like that already exist on TikTok, which is probably why Instagram wants to add them to its own platform. Online video companies have not been shy about refitting popular TikTok features for their own users, but TikTok’s impactful culture is harder to copy. Part of what makes TikTok special is its penchant for spawning ultra-viral trends, and Templates help those memes, dances, and challenges spread — at least in theory.
While you wait for Instagram’s Templates to come out of beta, you can make use of other new features for Reels. Notably, ads were enabled on the short-form format earlier this year.