Instagram is adding ‘Collabs’, new reel music features, desktop publishing, and more

Instagram today announced a number of new features that will roll out this week on both the Instagram Feed and its TikTok competitor, Reels. Creator-centric additions will allow users to collaborate with each other, raise funds, and make better use of music on Reels, among other things. The company will also make its desktop Instagram website more usable, by finally allowing people to post photos and videos less than a minute in length using their desktop web browser.

The latter has been a long-requested new feature, the company notes, and will be available to global audiences starting Thursday, October 21.

The company had previously tested the feature this summer, but it wasn’t widely available.

Image credits: Instagram

The other new features will disappear for the week, starting today with “Collabs.”

Instagram describes this feature as a “test”, and explains that it will allow people to co-author Feed and Reels posts. To do so, users can invite another account to be a contributor from the tagging screen on Instagram. If the other person agrees, both accounts will appear in the post or Reels header and the content will be shared with both sets of followers. Although Instagram is only announcing the trial today, many Instagram users have already seen the feature in the app, as the company started a small-scale global trial of this function in July.

At the time, Instagram said that only a small number of people would have access to the feature and did not indicate when it would be implemented more widely.

When two creators choose to collaborate, the post or reel will appear in their profile grids and will have a count of shared views, such as the count and comment thread, says Instagram.

On Wednesday, Instagram will also start testing a new way to create fundraising events for nonprofits, with the introduction of a feature that allows you to start the event directly from the create button (the plus “+” button on the top right of the screen.). When you tap on this option, instead of selecting Post, Story, Reels, or Live, you will see an option to select a nonprofit and add the fundraiser to your Feed post.

Instagram has supported fundraising activities for some time, even adding support for non-profit fundraisers during live broadcasts last year. But before, he hadn’t offered a way to create a fundraiser from a separate location directly from his Instagram profile.

This feature had been spotted prior to this week’s release by the developer and reverse engineer. Alessandro Paluzzi, who found the new fundraising button in development in September.

Two other new additions are meant to improve Instagram Reels, when used with music.

On Thursday, Instagram will introduce two new effects called Superbeat and Dynamic Lyrics, which will help creators who edit and perform using music in Reels. Superbeat will intelligently apply special effects to music to the beat of the user’s song, while Dynamic Lyrics will show 3D lyrics that will flow with the beat of the song, says Instagram.

These new features follow TikTok’s launch of half a dozen interactive music effects in April, including several that add visual effects synced to the beat of a song. Meanwhile, Reels has offered a much more limited selection of creative effects of its own so far, relying on its community to expand its library beyond the basics – like a timer or speed setting tool, for example.

Reels features will arrive alongside desktop publishing, which Instagram says will be limited to photos and videos less than a minute long. This month, the company dropped its IGTV brand for long-form videos, but it still allows videos of up to 60 minutes. That is now just considered “Instagram video,” a term that includes anything other than video in a story or on reels.