In a familiar twist of the ever-evolving social media landscape, Instagram is currently in the experimental phase of testing lengthier Reels, allowing users to upload clips of 3 minutes and 10 minutes. These extended Reels are undergoing internal testing within the app.
Instagram's Prolonged Reels
As evidenced by images shared by app researcher Alessandro Palazzi, Instagram appears poised to introduce the option for users to upload significantly longer videos as Reels, mirroring a trend set by TikTok, which introduced longer video uploads last year (note: some TikTok users may no longer see the 10-minute video upload option, but it is still available for some).
Is IG going OG?
This move seems to bring Instagram back full circle to its roots, particularly after the retirement of its long-form "IGTV" video feature (RIP) early last year.
However, this revival takes a new form, potentially offering a more integrated and streamlined video experience under the Reels banner, as opposed to requiring users to navigate to separate sections for long-form content.
Social Apps are Changing
This shift reflects the ongoing trends in social apps. Initially, short videos gained popularity when online video content first emerged. Over time, video clips gradually grew longer, leading to the emergence of live-streaming and TV-style content.
Short Form May be On Its Way Out
Subsequently, short-form video content, epitomized by platforms like Vine, Stories, and TikTok, gained prominence.
Now, there's a resurgence of interest in mid-length or long-form clips.
It remains to be seen whether users truly desire longer video content or if platforms are exploring this option to enhance their monetization and creator retention potential.
Is Meta Just Following TikTok Again?
In this case, it's worth considering whether Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is once again following in TikTok's footsteps to minimize differentiation and reduce TikTok's appeal as an alternative to Instagram.
Instagram has confirmed that it is internally testing 10-minute videos but has not yet extended these tests to external users.
Will this become a game-changer or a game of differentiation? Will users enthusiastically engage with long-form content, given that short-form Reels have become a significant part of the Instagram and Facebook experience? Or will it simply be an additional tool in creators' arsenals, with limited interest from users?
Longer Video May be Here to Stay
Ultimately, it appears inevitable that longer video options will continue to rise in popularity before the next major short-form trend captures our attention once again.