Instagram is testing a new feature called templates that will let creators make wheels by borrowing formats from other videos on the platform, according to a report from Insider (via TechCrunch). The feature is somewhat similar to TikTok’s own template tool, which allows creators to drop their own content into a pre-made sequence.
Reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi discovered an early version of templates in January, while marketing manager and influencer Josephine Hill has already gotten to experience the feature. In a screenshot posted by Hill in March, it looks like users can swap their own clips for preset frames, as well as add their own sound. This could save users from using third-party templates from sites like Canva, or having to closely follow online tutorials to achieve a particular format, something Hill pointed out to Insider.
Instagram REELS announced a new feature! “Use as template” allows the user to replace the clips with your own and it will match the timestamps on the template wheel. Tell me what you think about this feature. Does this make you want to create more wheels? pic.twitter.com/rLMJAX89jG
– Jo Millie (@JosephineMedia) March 26, 2022
“We are always working on new ways to make Reels easier to create,” a Meta spokesman said in a statement to Insider. “We are testing the possibility that you can make a wheel using an existing template from another wheel.” Instagram also told Insider that it is currently testing the feature with a small group of users. The edge contacted Instagram with a request for comment but did not respond immediately.
The test comes as Instagram tries to attract more creators to Reels, solving one of its biggest problems: TikTok re-posts. Last year, Instagram said it would stop promoting Reels with TikTok watermarks, and earlier this week, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the platform would hit even harder by downgrading reposts. Throwing templates into the mix can make it easier to make videos on wheels and spur the creation of more original content.