Instagram Reels

Image: Adobe Stock

Creators and activists dig into Instagram’s #ReelSelf campaign

Social media platform Instagram will host a #ReelSelf session in October for creatives and activists to take their skills to the next level.

Instagram Reels

Image: Adobe Stock

Instagram recently launched its Instagram Reels feature which is direct competition to Tik-Tok videos. Following the Reels feature, #ReelSelf has been trending on Instagram.

Instagram Reels

In August, Instagram introduced the Reels feature which is a new way for creators to record and edit 15-second clips with audio, effects and creative tools.

You can read more on Instagram Reels here.

The #ReelSelf campaign is a play on the words “Real Self”. This sees Instagram users express their real, or true, self through a reel or post, typically with a twist of social activism.

Social media and activism

Digital natives, namely Generation Z  and younger Millennials, prefer to take their social activism online. In comparison, previous or older generations traditionally protested with a physical march in the streets.

Social media provides a platform to expressive individuals, giving them a wide audience. The  combination of these two variables give a home to online social activism and hashtag activism.

Hashtag activism includes movements against racism such as #BlackLivesMatter. It also includes the fight against sexism, gender-based violence and oppression of women through #MeToo.

There are several other hashtags covering social issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, colourism, body positivity and more.

Instagram celebrates 10 years next month and for this will be hosting a #ReelSelf virtual session. This will look back at a decade of Instagram activism.


Following the launch of the Reels feature, Instagram announced its virtual #ReelSelf sessions. According to Dazed Digital, this exclusive content and talk session will offer young creatives a chance to refine their skills.

These sessions are set to run from 21 to 23 October. They will discuss how to stand out and be discovered, and how to be funny and entertaining.

#ReelSelf content to look out for

Musician Lava La Rue posted a reel about her deep love for cardigans under hahstag #ReelSelf. Her music addresses issues such as systematic racism.

Digital creator, makeup artist and blogger Manchester posted about bare skin and skin positivity. She embraced her bare skin, hyperpigmentation, acne and scars.

Amika George, period poverty activist and author of Make it Happen: How To Be an Activis,t has also been promoting #ReelSelf. George would like to get other activists involved in the campaign.

View this post on Instagram

70% of people want politics and society to be entirely reshaped after the Coronavirus crisis is over.* And I think it’s obvious why. In today’s world, you don’t have to look far to see blatant injustice and deepening inequalities. The climate is in crisis and the most vulnerable are dying disproportionately from Covid-19, while billionaires hoard wealth and governments look for scapegoats rather than solutions. Now, it’s up to us to carve out a radically different world to what was ‘normal’ before. Activism is about choosing to imagine a world better than the one we live in now, and deciding to do something to create it. Starting @freeperiods was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but its success in the UK reinforced my belief that activism really DOES work. And right now, I think we need it more than ever. My book, ‘Make It Happen’ (cover reveal on Wednesday!!! ?), is a guide to activism with practical steps on how to get started. But, more than that, it’s an urgent call to action. ? “The pandemic is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” – Arundhati Roy** *’Lessons From Lockdown’, Republic, June 2020 ** ‘The pandemic is a portal’, Arundhati Roy in the Financial Times, April 2020

A post shared by Amika George (@amikageorge) on

Instagram Reels Update

Instagram has responded to feedback from users on their reels feature, says TechCrunch.

It is now giving creators the ability to create longer videos and extend the timer. The platform will be adding tools to trim and delete clips to make the editing process easier.

Instagram now allows users to create reels of up to 30 seconds. The timers extends up to 10 seconds which makes trimming and deleting clips much simpler.