Now that Instagram Reels is officially out in the world, the short-form video platform options are strong and competitive. Though essentially all video-sharing apps are being vetted as one-note TikTok replacements in the event of a ban, the difference between Instagram Reels and Triller highlight the ways in which they are truly unique.
How Does Triller Work?
Triller has been on the market since 2015, when it initially debuted as a music video making app. With a library of pre-cleared tracks and the option to upload your own original music, creators and musicians flocked to the platform. While it allows you to film various clips and stitch them together, you don't have access to editing tools like you'd find in TikTok or Reels. The clip-syncing feature might be doubly appealing if editing is what turns you off from producing videos. And with the built-in filters, you don't have to have a film school degree to make a pretty decent video.
Now, Triller has evolved into a full-fledged social media network, with separate tabs to watch music videos and short clips, and engagement options so that creators of all industries can share their own videos and make connections on the platform. And while you can totally look up your friends and follow people you know on Triller — there is a following tab, too — the app's randomness is part of its allure for some.
How Does Instagram Reels Work?
If you're more interested in keeping up with your friends and the accounts you're already familiar with, you might be more drawn to Instagram Reels. When you think about Instagram, you likely think about your personal network. Though people often follow accounts that they don't have personal relationships with, the Instagram app experience is based on making connections. Reels aims to benefit from the built-in network and familiarity its users will have on the app, while also introducing something new: a totally random Explore page. Edit your own videos in Reels by organizing your clips, adjusting the speed, and adding filters (there are thousands to choose from). You can also decorate your videos by adding text, doodling, or opting to show lyrics.
How Instagram Reels & Triller Are Different
A broad explore page is where each of these apps — Triller, Reels, and TikTok — intersect. Instead of limiting your exposure to the people who follow you, these apps provide a stage to showcase your content and through a mix of hashtags and audio databases, meet new audiences. And for someone who uses the app just to enjoy videos, not to create them, these explore pages offer endless entertainment — literally.
There are a few ways in which Reels and Triller are fundamentally different, and could be appealing to different kinds of creators. Most Triller videos run between the two default settings, 16 and 30 seconds, but you can make videos that runs over two minutes. There's currently no official word on the video length limit, but if you play around on the app you'll see you can share and find a variety of length options. (Bustle reached out to Triller for confirmation, and we will update this post when we hear back.) Instagram Reels, however, are currently strictly 15 seconds across the board, though a spokesperson for the app told Bustle that they're open to extending the time limit if their users request it.
Also, Triller doesn't have a DM option or inbox, so if you want to get in touch with someone, you either have to find them on Instagram, or leave them a comment and hope they respond. But, because the app is filled with new users and most of the videos in your explore feed are trending, be prepared for your comment to get lost in a sea of spam.
Ultimately, if your Instagram following is a big part of your work and identity, Instagram Reels is going to be a more intuitive option, as you'll be building onto an already existing foundation. But if you're trying to start something new, or are more interested in experimenting with content that's not directly linked to your Instagram footprint, Triller will be a fun stage to play on.