Two days ago, Instagram announced the release of their new Remix feature in Reels. This new adaptation, which feels strikingly similar to duets on TikTok, allows users to record their own content while interacting with and responding to other creators from afar.
According to Instagram representative Devi Narasimhan, the social platform launched this new feature in hopes of giving users new and creative ways to find community, interact with their audience or fans, and create content. Upon its release, Instagram enlisted the help of familiar faces like John Legend, viral dancer Jackson Chavis and more to encourage others to try it.
"Interactive tools such as Live Rooms, polls and questions in Stories, and AR effects have always been a huge part of how people connect on Instagram," Narasimhan wrote in an email to TMRW. "We’re excited to bring that collaborative magic to Reels, and give people more ways to create and engage with the trends, songs and creators that are making culture on Instagram with Remix."
On Aug. 5, Instagram introduced Reels to the platform, allowing users to create, edit, upload and share 15-second videos, "backed with audio and music including millions of songs licensed from music companies." As platforms converge in a mad dash to compete with one another, full-time influencer and content creator Tomi Obebe is keeping up the pace.
"I got the notification through Instagram. I tweeted about it saying 'Oh, this is interesting, that this is going to be like the new feature added for Reels. That's kind of competing with TikTok's duet feature,'" Obebe told TMRW, adding that in her opinion, TikTok still has an advantage. "The thing that really makes TikTok so superior from a lot of social media platforms is its algorithm. I have yet to see something as accurate and pushing out things to you that you want to see."
In response to claims that Instagram's new feature might just be a TikTok copycat, Narasimhan said that "TikTok has great tools that work for their community, like Duets" and that Instagram is launching Remix to continue the usage of interactive tools that are "one of the most-used and favorite parts of Instagram."
Since 2015, 26-year-old Obebe has been creating content for her fashion & lifestyle blog, Goodtomicha. With each reinvention of the same wheel, she said content creators always have to figure out that what works best for each audience and understand that the demographic may be completely different on another app.
Another concern for her is ensuring that the Instagram interface easily allows users to give credit to the original creators of a trend, a perennial issue for Black creatives. TikToker Addison Rae recently appeared on a segment for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in which she performed routines made by Black creators — without crediting the routines' origins during the show. Obebe shared on Twitter that in comparison to TikTok, Instagram still lacks the ability to give proper attribution.
"With a video that I just recently posted, the only version of that that was on Instagram from the original creator cut off the first two seconds," Obebe said. "I couldn't use the exact audio. I would love to be able to mute the video on upload, so you can tag it with the proper people. If there's a way to edit it, so ... I can edit the title of what I want it to be going into Reels saying, 'This is (so and so's) audio.'"
Nonetheless, Obebe, who has used Remix briefly, remains excited about the prospect of the collaborative feature. Interested in creating your own remix? Follow the steps below:
1. Find the Reel of your choice.
2. Click on the three-dot dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner of the post and select "Remix this Reel."
3. Record a new video in real time or upload a pre-recorded video from your camera roll. The screen will split into the original Reel and your recording will be side-by-side to the original video.
4. Control the volume for the original audio, your recorded audio and add a voiceover. To edit volume controls, tap the slider icon on top. To add a voiceover, tap the microphone icon on top.
5. Post your remixed Reel. The original user will get a notification that you have remixed their Reel.
The Remix feature is automatically enabled on newly uploaded Reels, so you will need to enable it on if you'd like to try on old posts.