Instagram Reels Statistics 2021 [Latest Data]

Instagram has been around since 2010, and it’s constantly evolving to become even better than it was the day before. How do you think it’s been able to stay so relevant and popular over the span of 10+ years? 

Along the way, there have been other competing social media platforms that have emerged, prompting Instagram to create some new features to help keep their platform popular and at the forefront of social media usage. 

For instance, do you remember Snapchat? It had gained such a stronghold that Instagram decided to implement Instagram stories, one of the best decisions it’s ever made. Instagram stories now house some serious power for brands and businesses, as many Instagram stories statistics clearly show. 

Well, Instagram reels got its start similarly to that of Instagram stories, and it’s gained some serious traction on Instagram. It’s important to have a good understanding of all different content formats on Instagram to have a well-rounded strategy, so you may be wondering, how valuable are IG reels for my content creation? 

We’re going to bring you some Instagram reels statistics that can help you see the value behind the content format. We’re also going to explain a bit more about Instagram reels so that you have a solid understanding of what it is and what it does. 

Let’s get started! 

Instagram Reels Stats— Summary 

  • Instagram reels was released on August 5, 2020 in over 50 countries
  • Reels launched first in Brazil as “Cenas” 
  • Instagram users increased in Brazil by 4.34% after the launch
  • Nike averages 4.6 million views per reel, and many other brands share the same success
  • In June 2020, IG reels expanded to France and Germany
  • 87% of Gen Z TikTok users agree that reels is basically the same as TikTok 
  • Instagram reels launched in India on July 12, 2020
  • Instagram app downloads increased by 11.4% in India after reels launched (from 7 million to 7.8 million) 
  • Time spent on Instagram in India after reels launched increased by 3.5% 
  • There was no increase in daily active users in India after reels launched 
  • 20 out of 30 NBA teams use reels and have had great success 
  • The Los Angeles Lakers have the most engagement on Instagram reels with over 385k engagements and over 6.8M views on one video. 
  • NBA teams’ reels have gained 22% more engagement 
  • Reels can be featured on the Explore page, where 50% of Instagram users go to discover new content 
  • Reels receive more engagement than regular video content at a rate of about 22% 
  • 70% of marketers are looking to increase ad spend in video 
  • Khaby Lame holds the most-viewed Instagram reel at 283 million (and counting) 

Instagram Quick Stats 

You’ve got some very valuable Instagram reels statistics under your belt, but here are a few very important general Instagram statistics that you should know as well: 

  • Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users 
  • Users spend an average of 30 minutes a day on Instagram
  • 81% of people use Instagram for research on companies, products, and services. 
  • 50% of people have visited a website to purchase a product or service they saw on the app 
  • 500 million people use Instagram Stories on a daily basis
  • 51% of users are female and 49% are male
  • Shoppable posts are tapped by over 130 million user every month 
  • 88% of Instagram users are outside of the United States
  • The average Instagram business account posts once a day
  • The average engagement rate of an Instagram business post is 0.96%

Understanding these basic Instagram usage stats can help businesses and brands understand why Instagram is still a very valuable platform, even with other popular platforms out there such as YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. 

Instagram has a very diverse content offering and reaches a huge global audience, and with many features for advertising and businesses, it’s arguably essential that you focus on having a strong presence on the platform. 

What is Instagram Reels? 

Instagram Reels

IG Reels is a relatively new Instagram content format that allows users to create and post short-form video content. It was inspired by the popularity of TikTok, and you can shoot videos up to 60 seconds long as of August 2021, just a year after the launch of Instagram reels. 

You can also get your Instagram reels content up on the Explore page, which means that your content will get more reach and you can even boost your follower count and engagement rate through the format. This is unique to Instagram reels and Instagram stories don’t offer this advantage. 

Many users that post Instagram reels are active on TikTok as well and share similar content across both platforms. If you find it too tedious to start to develop a TikTok presence, you can simply focus on Instagram, as it makes including the format very simple and straightforward at the end of the day. 

So, should you start to focus on Instagram reels only and abandon other features such as Instagram stories and video content? Probably not. Instagram benefits from having many different content formats, and the more variety you include, the more likely you’ll be to capture your audience’s attention. 

Instagram reels does offer a benefit in the way of video editing features. You’ll have more effects, tools, speed controls, and options than Instagram stories, and you can also combine multiple videos for great transitions. 

You can only post videos to Instagram reels, so if you want static photo content, you’ll want to take advantage of Instagram stories to feature that. 

If you’re using Instagram reels for the first time, you may find that it’s a bit confusing, but once you get over the initial learning curve, you’ll be glad that you took the time to delve into the latest feature from Instagram and hopefully reap the benefits by way of follower growth, reputation building, and better engagement. 

Here are some tips on how Instagram reels works. 

How Does Instagram Reels Work? 

When you want to create Instagram reels, you simply select the Reels option at the bottom of the Instagram camera, which you can access by swiping right on your main IG feed. 

You’ll have access to the reels editing tools on the left-hand side, which include the following: 

Audio: Add music and sounds to your Instagram reel video by selecting your desired track from the Instagram music library. You can also record your IG reel with live audio if you want to record the audio directly with the video.

When you share an Instagram reel with original audio, this audio will be associated with you and other users can use it to create reels that use your audio. You can also do this by selecting Use Audio from the reel that you want to take the audio from. This must be done from reels that are posted to public accounts. 

AR Effects: A variety of AR effects are available in the Instagram effect gallery. A combination of Instagram-created effects and effects created by users from around the globe, you can use them to record multiple video clips that have different effects on each one.

Align: There’s a useful Instagram reels feature called align that allows you to line up objects from a previous video clip so that it’s consistent on your subsequent clips. This helps you to make sure your video is professional and coherent, offering the chance to create transitions that flow perfectly, from outfit changes to adding new objects and people into your reel. 

Timer and Countdown: The timer feature on Instagram reel allows you to record your video clips hands-free. After you press record, the timer will begin and give you three seconds before the recording begins for whatever time you’ve directed it to record for. 

Speed: Instagram reels also lets you select the speed of your video with features to slow down or speed up parts of your video as well as the audio that you’ve selected for your reels. This ensures that everything stays on-rhythm and you can also create some fun and creative content using the different speeds. 

Instagram Reels Statistics You Need to Know 

Instagram Reels

Now that we know what Instagram reels is and how it works in general, let’s take a closer look at what the Instagram reels statistics say about its place on the platform and whether or not you should include it in your content strategy. 

1. Instagram Reels was Released on August 5, 2020 in over 50 Countries 

After testing in different countries and with TikTok’s strong popularity by this time in 2020, Instagram put its reels feature out to over 50 countries. It remains one of the biggest features for engagement and video content, with many big brands, influencers, and others regularly posting content in this format. 

Since its launch, Instagram reels has been a popular content format for all different types of content, including fun videos that help you connect with your audience, tutorials, behind-the-scenes videos, product showcases, sales promotions, educational content, and much more. 

The potential with Instagram reels is truly as endless as your creativity. 

2. Reels Launched First in Brazil as “Cenas” 

Because Brazil has an extremely active Instagram market, reels was tested first in Brazil as it’s competing feature against the TikTok platform, which was wildly growing in popularity. It was first launched in Brazil in November of 2019, before TikTok even began to hit its peak popularity in early 2020. 

Instagram reels was known as “Cenas” in Brazil, and due to the popularity and success of the feature, it expanded to other countries and eventually launched in over 50 of them as we saw in August of 2020. 

The majority of Instagram users in Brazil are women (59.6%) and the largest user group are aged 25-34, which is very similar to the usage stats of Instagram in the US as well. 

3. Instagram Users Increased in Brazil by 4.34% 

After the launch of Instagram reels in Brazil, there was a big spike in Instagram users compared with the normal increase that Brazil sees. The country typically experiences a 1% increase in users on a monthly basis. 

Between October 2019 and November 2019, which was when Cenas (Reels) was released, Instagram users increased in the country by 4.34%. That means that there was enough buzz and interest in the feature to see quite a bit of a jump in how many new users Instagram was able to bolster in the country. 

With TikTok barely becoming popular, this is likely the result that Instagram was looking for. It will become clear from later statistics that Instagram reels has generated a lot of attention and engagement for some of the biggest brands around the world. 

4. Nike Averages 4.6 Million Views per Reel 

The lowest-performing Reel that Nike posted has 3.2 million views. The highest-performing Reel that they posted has 6.6 million views. It’s safe to say that Instagram Reels have been huge for Nike and bringing in viewers.  

Nike is only one of many brands that are leveraging Instagram stories. 20 out of 30 NBA teams are using Instagram reels, and there are plenty of other success stories from companies like Louis Vuitton, H&M, NatGeo, and many more. 

Most of these brands have view counts that rise well beyond 3 million on average, which means that people are definitely watching Instagram reels. 

5. In June of 2020, Instagram Reels was Found in France and Germany 

Instagram reels was clearly successful in the test launch that was done in Brazil, so after that, it was sent over to other countries in order to get a wider test audience. 

France and Germany were the next countries to receive Instagram reels, which hit the market on June 24th, 2020, which isn’t too far away from the ultimate update that allowed the feature into over 50 countries. 

The app was also updated pretty substantially here, so it’s clear Instagram was preparing for the launch on a wider scale. 

6. 87% of Gen Z TikTok Users Agree That Reels is “Basically the Same”

Instagram is home to users mostly from the age range of Millennials (33%) followed closely by Gen Z (29.8%). Gen Z is also very active on TikTok, and when comparing the reels feature with TikTok content, 87% of Gen Z agree that reels are virtually the same as TikTok short-form videos. 

In addition, 61% plan to spend more time on IG over TikTok, according to SM Perth. This is good news considering the fact that Instagram has a lot more capabilities in terms of marketing, shoppable posts, advertising, as well as other features that can reach users. 

If Instagram continues to solidify itself using different features such as Instagram reels, it will become the most powerful marketing platform, something that it’s been well on its way to becoming. 

Instagram business reports that 50% of Instagram users were more interested in a brand after seeing it on Instagram, and with different ad formats such as Instagram stories as well as regular in-feed ads, there are tons of ways to reach your target audience. 

This is important and will continue to develop if reels becomes a part of ad content, at which point there will be more Instagram reels statistics in relation to marketing and advertising to these respective age groups. 

7. Instagram App Downloads increased by 11.4% in India 

Instagram reels was made available to India on July 12, 2020, which is before the official release in August of 2020. From July 12 to August 16, Instagram downloads increased from 7 million downloads to 7.8 downloads after the launch, according to Apptopia. 

This is an increase of 11.4%, and while it doesn’t seem like a huge percentage on paper, remember that this is in hundreds of thousands of downloads— almost 1 million more downloads in this specified period. 

That leads us to believe that Instagram reels did play a big part in drumming up some interest around Instagram and its new content format. 

8. Time Spent on Instagram in India Increased by 3.5% 

After Instagram reels went live in India, the director and head of partnerships at Facebook India, Manish Chopra, indicated that “reels is being received very well and a variety of public figures and creators from across India are starting to use the feature.” 

According to Apptopia, this fact was seen in the increase in average time spent on Instagram in India, which increased by roughly 3.5% after the launch of Instagram reels. 

Similar to the increase in app downloads, it’s clear that Instagram reels has had an impact on users enough to keep them on the platform longer. If you have reels content, it will help to get more eyes on your profile and keep them there for extended periods of time, similar to Instagram stories. 

9. There Was No Increase in Daily Active Users in India

While there was an increase in time spent on Instagram after reels launched in India, there was no increase in daily active users according to Apptopia. The platform had been averaging around 100 million daily active users before reels launched, and that number hasn’t seen any type of movement since the feature was released. 

Even still, these Instagram reels statistics point to the fact that there was an increase in app downloads as well as time spent on the platform, both indicating that something about Instagram reels captured a larger audience. 

10. 20 out of 30 NBA Teams Post Instagram Reels Content 

One of the more specific and curious Instagram reels statistics is that the feature has been widely embraced by the NBA, National Basketball Association, with 20 out of the 30 teams flocking to Instagram to implement reels content. 

At least one reel has been posted by two-thirds of the NBA franchises has posted at least one reel since the feature was launched in August of 2020 (source: Conviva), and this could soon be changing and increasing with the length of time the feature has been available. 

It’s for good reason, too— there has been huge views and engagements coming to Instagram reels content for these accounts, and the top engagement was on the Los Angeles Lakers profile, with over 385k engagements and upwards of 4.1 million plays. 

Now, the Lakers have reels that surpass 6 million views, so it’s safe to say that the content format has been well received amongst their target audience and follower base. 

11. NBA Teams’ Reels Gain 22% More Engagement 

Based on all of the different reels posted by NBA teams, it’s been a great way to understand Instagram reels statistics when it comes to engagement. These NBA franchises have seen a 22% boost in engagement than they had from standard Instagram posts, including Instagram stories (source: Conviva). 


This is promising not only for the franchise, but also for other big brands who have seen success, as well as content creators, influencers, musicians, artists, and so many more who are looking for a way to connect with their target audience on Instagram and get more engagement. 

The goal of most users on Instagram that have a public account is to get their content featured on the Explore page. This is the place where new content is suggested to users based on the content the algorithm thinks this user would like, typically from accounts that the user doesn’t follow. 

This means that you can get more reach for your content and get seen by users in your target audience, and this is a valuable way to boost your follower count and engagement rate. The good news is that Instagram reels can appear on the Explore page, and 50% of users on Instagram go there to discover new content. 

If your Instagram reel has a lot of views and engagement, it’s likely to be suggested to users on the Explore page, which is very valuable among Instagram reels statistics. 

13. Reels Receive More Engagement than Regular Video content at a Rate of about 22%

It’s not only notable that NBA franchise accounts get higher engagement rates at a 22% increase— many other brands and businesses have noticed the same trend, leading to the next of our Instagram reels statistics. 

Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Sephora, H&M, NatGeo, Nike, and many others have seen valuable increases in their view count and engagement rate through Instagram reels content, only further suggesting that users are enjoying the feature. 

Because these accounts already have huge followings with many eyes on their accounts, it’s clear to see that it leads to better brand engagement when using the feature. What will be interesting to see in future Instagram reels statistics is whether or not this will continue to trickle down to accounts with lower follower counts. 

14. 70% of Marketers are Looking to Increase Ad Spend in Video 

While this doesn’t relate specifically to Instagram reels statistics, it’s an important one to keep an eye on. With 70% of marketers looking to increase ad spend in video content, the introduction of ads in IG reels could be a game changer. 

It’s clear that the interest in the feature is there, so what Instagram decides to do with it next will be interesting to look out for. Since reels has gained quite a bit of attention and engagements over the past year, it’s likely that Instagram will extend the feature to even further benefit businesses and creators. 

15. Influencer Khaby Holds the Most-Viewed Reel at 283 Million (And Counting) 

A simple video of Khaby coming back multiple times to check and see if his iron was turned off and unplugged resonated with viewers in a big way— with 283 million videos on the reel on Instagram, 12 million likes on the post, and 89.2 thousand comments, Khaby is one of the most popular content creators on TikTok and on Instagram. 

You can see that the power of Instagram reels is great, especially because this format has only been around for about a year and has been able to bring great traction to many different types of creators.

@khaby00 currently has 52.3M followers on Instagram, and 117.1M followers on TikTok under the handle @khaby.lame. It’s safe to say that he’s become a global sensation. His TikTok videos have millions of views as well, but none even come close to the number of views that he enjoys on Instagram reels. 

Khaby shot to fame after creating “common sense” style videos making fun of crazy hacks or tutorials found on the internet, and he’s been incredibly popular ever since. Could Instagram reels help you to find viral fame as they have Khaby? 

Instagram Reels as a TikTok Alternative?

Instagram Reels

Before we finish up with our Instagram reels statistics article, we should take some time to evaluate exactly how Instagram compares to TikTok and what we can expect in terms of future usage of both platforms. 

TikTok rose to popularity at the beginning of 2020, its lure made stronger by the impending COVID-19 pandemic and the desire of the world to be entertained while stuck at home for so many months. 

If TikTok never became popular, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Instagram likely would’ve continued in its place. Most creators on TikTok already have an Instagram presence and if TikTok disappeared tomorrow, it’s likely they’d find their home on Instagram. 

The most active age groups on social media, though, continue to be Millenials and Gen Z. Both Millenials and Gen Z find themselves on Instagram, with Millenials slightly edging out the Gen Z audience. 

Regardless, both groups make up Instagram’s primary user base, showing that the platform reigns popular among the most prominent groups. TikTok is more geared towards Gen Z, showing that it’s more popular among younger users. 

Gen Z also finds that Instagram reels are virtually the same as TikTok (87%), so it goes to show that they do see similarities across the platforms. 

TikTok is a standalone app for reel-style content, which makes it a bit more straightforward if this is the preferred content type of a user, as reels are not as easy to find via Instagram unless you look for them specifically inside a user’s profile or at the news feed for reels at the bottom of the Instagram app. 

There are also editing tools, effects, and sounds that are provided by TikTok, making Instagram’s reels feature a bit more complicated (or even limited) in terms of editing. 

It seems that the Instagram reels feature is meant to stay relevant and compete with TikTok, but the idea of it taking over TikTok as an alternative completely is unlikely, especially considering the popularity of TikTok. 

TikTok has roughly 1 billion monthly active users, which has solidified its popularity as a strong social media player. That said, incorporating reels into your Instagram content strategy is advised and can give you a wider breadth of content offerings for all different audience types. 

Also, considering reels gain higher Instagram engagements in comparison to regular Instagram video content, it may be worth your time to share content in the reels format on Instagram. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Still have some questions about Instagram reels? Here we’ll answer four of the most common questions we receive about the Instagram feature. 

What is Instagram Reels? 

Instagram reels were released in August of 2020 to combat the growing popularity of TikTok. The feature allows you to create and share short-form video content with the Instagram community. 

With Instagram reels, you can record and edit videos that are up to 30 seconds long. You can also include effects and sounds. When your account is public, you can expand your reach through reels, getting them onto the Explore page and increasing your reach to even more Instagram users. 

How Do I Use Instagram Reels?

Instagram reels are fairly straightforward to use on the platform. When you open the Instagram camera, you can see the Reels option at the bottom. You’ll gain access to the editing tools and different features on the left of the screen. 

You can also add audio and AR effects, as well as choose to speed up sections or all of your audio/video. There’s also a timer and countdown feature that allows you to record your video clips hands-free, a useful feature for those who want to experiment. 

If you want to shoot your reels videos outside of Instagram, you can also do that as well— simply use whatever video editing tools and then upload your content to the platform as an Instagram reel. 

Is Instagram Reels Good? 

Instagram reels have become quite popular on Instagram, and from the Instagram reels statistics that we’ve shared above, it’s clear that brands, businesses, and internet personalities are making good use of them. 

What’s also very interesting is that many users of TikTok who upload similar or the same videos to the TikTok platform end up with more views on their Instagram reels than their TikTok content. This indicates that using Instagram reels is an important part of your content strategy and can lead to great results, even if you still post to TikTok. 

You can also see an increase in your engagement on reels in comparison with other video content on Instagram; NBA teams and other businesses have seen up to 22% more engagement when they use Instagram reels. 

From Louis Vuitton to NatGeo to Nike to NBA teams to Sephora and more, it’s been shown that reels definitely draw in viewers and engagement, which means it is a great feature that you want to capitalize on. 

What’s the Difference Between Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels? 

The difference between Instagram stories and Instagram reels is not that great, but it’s mainly different in the way that people access the content. With both formats, you can add music, visual effects, filters, sound, and more. 

Instagram stories are only displayed for 24 hours and can later be pinned to your Instagram profile in the way of Instagram story highlight albums, giving your followers and viewers access to these stories in an organized way. 

Instagram reels have their own section on your profile feed, and when you post an Instagram reel, it will be available on your profile from there on. You’ll also have access to more video editing tools, effects, and speed controls on Instagram reels. 

Instagram stories allows you to post photos, though, whereas Instagram reels only allows for short-form video content. Even still, based on our Instagram reels statistics, the format has been well received on Instagram and is valuable in your overall strategy. 

Final Thoughts 

Instagram reels have been the perfect addition to Instagram content formats and they were introduced at just the right moment. It’s clear that brands, businesses, influencers, and other users have had success in implementing the format into their content strategy. 

As the feature develops more, keep your eye out for valuable updates and shoppable features, and even ads. Instagram is constantly evolving for brands and businesses, which means that additions like these may be on the way for Instagram reels content. 

With higher engagement rates and tons of views in all different niches, finding a way to expand your content offering through Instagram reels is a worthwhile effort. 

Try it out and check back for updated Instagram reels statistics as more studies and data are released! 

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