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Instagram Basics: Adding Text to Reels

Working with text can seem challenging on Instagram Reels, but we’ve got you covered!  In this post you will learn how to add text to your videos, how to change the appearance of your text and how to set the duration on each text segment. This is great for storytelling in your videos as it allows you to have the text pop on and off in different parts of your video.

Let’s get started

Click the + to start a video and select “reel” from the dropdown menu.

Select some music if you’d like your video to have music on it.  Click “done”

Grab a video from your camera roll by selecting the icon in the lower left.  Add it to your Reel by clicking the word “add”.  Click preview which takes you to the next screen where you can tap the text icon.

Type in some text.  Before you click “done” you can select a different font by tapping through the font choices along the middle.   You can also change the color of the font by clicking the color wheel and choosing another color.

Cycle through the icon at the top to change the appearance which adds a background to your text block.  You can slide it up or down to reposition the text.  Pinch the text on the phone with 2 fingers to make it larger or smaller.  You can even twist it to put it on an angle.

If you touch on this icon at the bottom, each text block you create will add its own bubble icon along the bottom which allows you to change the duration of how long this appears on the video.  Touch on the bubble and slide the slider to shorter the length of time the text is on screen.  When the text appears translucent on the video, it indicates that it will not be on the scene at that section.  It remains hazy so you can see the positioning in order to determine where you might want the next block of text.

Once you are finished designing the first block of text, click “done” and follow the same steps to add another block of text. You’ll see a second bubble appear along the bottom allowing the direction to be set accordingly.

You can continue to add text blocks one by one on your video and then click next, type in your caption and either “share” or save to drafts to share later!

Feeling more savvy already? If you’re still a newbie, make sure to read the Instagram Basics blog post to help you get started.

Watch this tutorial on video by CLICKING THIS LINK!!

Hope this was helpful!  Check out our Instagram page @hellosocialize for more beginner Instagram tips.



Helen Polise is the CEO and founder of Socialize and the owner and director of a production company that creates content for TV commercials and digital advertising for well-known brands including Blistex, Sensodyne, NFL Alumni, Odor Eaters, and more. You can say hello to her on TikTok as @themuthership where she has attracted 500k+ followers and 3 million “likes” from people across the age spectrum by providing instructional content.