And once again, the great social media circle of life takes effect…
As anyone who’s paying attention would have probably expected, Instagram is experimenting with longer Reels clips, with 3-minute and 10-minute Reels now being tested internally at the app.
As you can see in this example images, posted by app researcher Alessandro Palazzi, Instagram may soon let users upload much longer videos as Reels, mirroring TikTok’s longer video uploads which it rolled out last year (note: while some users are no longer seeing the 10-minute video upload option on TikTok, you can still upload 10-minute videos).
Which, as many people have pointed out, it essentially back to the future for IG, after it retired its long-form “IGTV” video option early last year. Now, it’s seemingly bringing it back, in a new form, though it would also provide a more integrated, streamlined video experience, all under the Reels banner, as opposed to trying to get people to tap across to other sections to view long-form content.
But as noted, this is pretty much on trend for social apps.
Short video was the thing when video first became available online, before clips gradually got longer, eventually stemming into live-streaming and TV-like content. Then people got sick of that, and short-form video became the thing, with the rise of Vine, Stories, and eventually TikTok as well. Now, long-form, or mid-length clips are steadily coming back, though it remains to be seen whether users actually want to view longer video clips, or if the platforms want to offer longer video options to maximize their own monetization and creator retention potential.
Or in this case, whether Meta’s just copying TikTok once again, in order to negate any form of differentiation that TikTok might have, and lessen its value as an option to IG.
Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that 10-minute videos are being tested internally, though it’s not testing them externally as yet.
Would it be a game-changer? A difference-maker? Will users be keen to engage with long-form content, especially given that short-form Reels are now such a significant part of the Instagram and Facebook experience?
Or would it just be another thing for creators to have in their toolkit, with limited interest from users?
Really, it seems inevitable that longer video options will continue to rise, before we eventually stop paying attention once again, and revert back to the next big short-form trend.