Want to boost your Instagram engagement with Reels?
It’s time to start using trending audio.
But what are trending sounds, where do you find them, and how do you know which ones are taking off?
We’ve got you. Learn our top tips for finding trending songs and sounds on Instagram Reels by watching this video — or read the full blog post below.
What Are Trending Sounds on Reels?
When a sound or song is "trending" on Reels, it typically means it's growing in popularity — indicated by a tiny arrow next to the audio's name.
While Instagram hasn’t confirmed what makes a sound a trend, we hypothesize it’s all about momentum.
So, if an audio is suddenly being consistently used or saved, the likelihood of it getting its own arrow is high — regardless of how old it is.
Take @jakeandshelbyofficial whose Norah Jones cover (posted in August), is currently trending on Reels:
TIP: Keep your eye on that arrow, not the numbers.
Can Business Accounts Use Trending Sounds?
Among commercial music limitations and copyright concerns, finding Reels audio for Instagram business accounts can be tricky — but not impossible.
Chantal Hermetz, Later's Social Media Specialist, says understanding the legalities is key to creating successful Reels (and avoiding copyright infringement).
“If you have a personal or creator profile on Instagram, you have access to a massive library of Reels sounds,” she explains.
“But if you’re seeing ‘This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use’, it’s because you haven’t obtained a license to use music from recording artists.”
Luckily, anything that’s labeled “Original audio” on Instagram is fair game for business profiles — meaning you’ll still have access to tons of trending sounds.
That said, not all "Original audio" is necessarily stock music — it could include remixes or mashups (like this remix by Austin Millz which has been used in over 28K Reels).
“We’re not copyright experts,” Later’s Social Content Lead, Lindsay Ashcraft, explains.
“It's up to you and your legal team to make the decision on what sounds work for your brand.”
If you choose to err on the side of caution, you can also keep an eye on creators like Austin Farwell who make "piano audios for Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts."
Want to schedule your Reels in advance? Later's scheduling tools have got you covered. Join over 4M brands, creators, and social media managers, and create an account today:
5 Ways to Find Trending Songs and Sounds for Your Instagram Reels
Here are our top five tips for finding trending songs and sounds on your Instagram Reels — so you can drive engagement:
Bookmark Later’s Weekly Reels Trends Blog
Scroll Your Instagram Reels Feed
Browse Instagram’s Weekly Trend Report
Get Inspired on TikTok
Follow Trending Reels Instagram Accounts
Tip #1: Bookmark Later’s Weekly Reels Trends Blog
Later’s weekly Reels trends blog is a massive timesaver in helping you keep up with all things trending on Instagram.
Each week, our team of social media experts update the blog with the top Instagram Reels trends — business profile-friendly audio included.
We also talk about how you can use the trends and incorporate them within your niche.
So, have you bookmarked it yet? 😉
Tip #2: Scroll Your Instagram Reels Feed
If you’re already spending time watching Reels, keeping an eye out for trending sounds should be no problem.
Open up Instagram and scroll the Reels explore page until you spot the tiny arrow we mentioned earlier.
When you tap the trending sound, you can see where the sound comes from, how many Reels have been made with it, and all the Reels that have used it. Jackpot!
Ready to film? Tap the “Use audio” button to start creating with the trending sound.
TIP: If you like the sound but aren’t ready to film, save the audio so you can come back to it later.
Tip #3: Browse Instagram’s Weekly Trend Report
The @creators account on Instagram is a valuable resource for staying in the know with Reels.
Every Friday, Instagram themselves share the top Instagram Reels trends for creators.
And if that isn’t already a huge plus, @creators frequently posts general Instagram tips — including facts about the algorithm.
Top tips straight from the source? Yes, please.
FYI: You can schedule your Instagram Reels in advance using Later's scheduling tools. Create an account today:
Tip #4: Get Inspired on TikTok
Ironic, we know — but scrolling your TikTok For You Page can be a great source for Reels inspiration.
If you want to jump on a trend that’s a little more niche, open up TikTok and type “trending sounds” in the search bar.
Filter videos to “this week” and you’ve just unlocked TikToks from creators sharing the top trending sounds and how you can use them.
Once you find a trend you love, make note of the song and artist — then search for it on Instagram to see if it’s featured in any Reels.
NOTE: TikTok trends typically show up on Reels a few weeks later, so bookmark your favs to be ahead of the curve.
Tip #5: Follow Trending Reels Instagram Accounts
Not into doing the heavy lifting yourself?
Good news: there are creators who scrope out the latest trends, so you can easily create content that reaches more people.
Check out Reels Tips who walks you through the transitions, timing, and edits for trends:
And if you’re a brand or small business, creators like Sej and Chitra have tons of tips and tutorials relevant to you — trending audio included:
The takeaway? Navigating trends isn’t a hassle with the right resources by your side.
By following these tips, you’re all set to easily discover and use trending songs and sounds on Reels.
Your Instagram engagement boost awaits. ✨
Ready to plan your Instagram Reels content in advance? Start scheduling Reels with Later, the #1 visual marketing platform — today!