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Instagram is exploring new features to support creators in experimenting with their content, potentially giving it an edge over TikTok. This week, the social network began global tests of a “trial reels” feature that allows creators to publish reels without them being displayed on their profiles. This new tool aims to reduce the pressure on creators by providing a space to explore different types of content or creative ideas without the immediate expectation of performance.

Key Features of “Trial Reels”

– Private Testing Ground**: Creators can post reels that are not visible to their followers, allowing them to experiment with new content ideas privately.

– Performance Insights**: After posting a trial reel, Instagram will share detailed performance insights with the creator, including metrics like plays, likes, comments, and shares.

– Decision Making**: Based on the performance data, creators can choose to either share their trial reel with their followers or archive it if it doesn’t meet their expectations.

Background and Development

The “trial reels” feature evolved from an earlier test known as “Experiment mode,” first identified by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi in April. Similar to trial reels, Experiment mode allowed creators to post content that would only be shown to non-followers, serving as a precursor to the more refined trial reels feature.

Potential Benefits for Creators and Instagram

-Creative Freedom**: By reducing the pressure of immediate performance, creators can take more creative risks and diversify their content without worrying about the impact on their profiles.

-Better Content Quality**: Creators can refine their content based on feedback and performance metrics before sharing it with their full audience, potentially leading to higher quality and more engaging posts.

– Competitive Edge**: This feature could help Instagram differentiate itself from TikTok, offering a unique tool that caters to creators’ needs for experimentation and innovation without the risk of failure.


Instagram’s “trial reels” feature represents a strategic move to support creators by providing a safe space for content experimentation. By allowing creators to test and refine their ideas privately, Instagram not only encourages creativity but also enhances the overall quality of content on the platform. This feature, if widely adopted, could significantly boost Instagram’s appeal to creators, giving it a competitive edge in the social media landscape.