How to Use the Before/After Scan in Instagram?

Updated on: November 20, 2022

Mobile apps like Instagram, Tiktok and Snapchat are popular among the younger generation for viral, trending content. Whether it is Tiktok Challenges or Instagram Reels, there is always some new hashtag that users are jumping on. All of these apps have many fun effects and filters to add flair to your photos and videos. By adding these automatic edits, it can be easy to make stylish and professional looking video clips. One of the trending effects on Instagram Reels is the Before After Scan. Let us see how to properly use the before after scan effect on Instagram.

How to Make Instagram Reel using Before and After Scan Effect?

Before we show you the steps, there is a very important fact about the Before/After Scan to keep in mind. It involves keeping a "After" photo ready in advance. There is nothing magical or innovative in the effect itself. It is only a simple "scan" animation on top of your camera video clip, which is the "before" part, and the already created photo, which becomes the "after" part. Now, since many influencers and celebrities used this scan effect with their own creativity and storytelling, it became viral. But when other users try to use it, they get confused and cannot get it to work effectively. The problem is that most users assume that this effect will automatically add creativity to their Insta Reel, which isn't the case.

The Before & After Scan effect in Insta Reels requires you to use your creativity to make it appear as something clever or funny.

Step by Step Instructions for Properly Using the Before/After Scan Effect in Instagram

1. For creating the "After" part of this effect, you can use absolutely any app or technique. This is the main part of this viral trend, and it is upto your creativity and innovation how well you can compose and execute it. For example, you can use the photo/video of a celebrity who looks somewhat like you. Or create a cartoon effect of your selfie. You can even add makeup or enhancements to your face using the Photo/Video Editing mobile apps. You can even use Instagram app itself, and use its various effects and filters to create some funny or interesting photo/video.

2. Once you are ready with the "After" photo, open the Instagram app for making the final Reel. Select the + button and choose Reel. Now your camera feed will open with Insta Reel effects and settings.

insta reels before after scan step 1 insta reels before after scan step 2

3. Tap on the "magic" or "effects" icon. Search for "Before/After Sscan" effect. Note that the two Ss are intentional, to get the trending effect. There are many other versions of the Before After scan, which you can try as well. But the effect we mentioned is the popular one or the "official" one being used in most trending reels.

4. Once you have selected the "Before/After Sscan" effect, you will see an "Add media" button on top of the Record button. Tap on the "Add media" button, and select the "After" photo/video that you have kept ready in the Step 1.

insta reels before after scan step 6

5. Now, press the Record button to start shooting the Reel. For a few seconds, your video clip will get recorded. This is the "Before" part of the scan. The effect will apply the scan animation to your clip, and then add the select "After" photo.

insta reels before after scan step 8

6. You can preview the Before After Scan effect Reel. If you don't like anything, you can make changes to your process of shooting the "before" part, and try again. You will know once you get it right, as the creative switch between your "before" visual and "after" visual will be visible. For example, your "before" visual can be just the normal you smiling into the camera. While the "after" visual can be your edited photo which looks like a cartoon or has some funny edit like different hairstyle or makeup. When you are satisfied, you can post your Before After Scan Reel!


The Before After Scan effect is a popular trend on Instagram Reels. People miss the crucial step that creating the "After" visual requires using their own creativity. And it is also confusing since the "After" photo is to be created before you start filming the Reel. Once you grasp this, you can avoid the common pitfalls that people encounter while using the Before After Scan effect. In this article, we showed you the simple steps you must take to successfully make creative, entertaining and funny Before After Scan trending Instagram Reels!

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