Instagram is internally testing the ability to increase the length of Reels from three minutes to 10 minutes — in an apparent bid to compete with the long-form video content available on TikTok and YouTube.
The feature was spotted by Alessandro Paluzzi, a developer known for reverse engineering apps and finding early versions of upcoming updates.
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) August 30, 2023
The current maximum length for Reels on Instagram is three minutes. However, according to screenshots shared by Paluzzi, Instagram is working internally to extend the time limit on Reels to 10 minutes.
Instagram confirmed the testing of longer reels to TechCrunch on Wednesday. The company told the publication that Paluzzi’s screenshots represent an “internal prototype” and Instagram is currently not testing the capability externally.
If Instagram did roll out a longer time limit on Reels, the social media platform would be competing with the long-form video content available on YouTube, TikTok, and X — which was formerly known as Twitter.
In February last year, TikTok similarly announced it would be extending the maximum video length from three to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, X also added the option for Blue subscribers to upload ten-minute videos in December.
The increased time limit would also make Instagram’s Reels a bigger competitor for YouTube — which has typically been known for its long-form video content. However, in recent months, YouTube has attempted to take on TikTok’s domination in terms of short-form video.
In the past year, YouTube has launched a new tool that allows creators to turn their existing longer videos into “Shorts”. It has also allowed content creators using YouTube Shorts to monetize their short-form videos.
On its Q1 2023 quarterly earnings call in April, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Meta CFO Susan Li shared that users were spending over 24% more time on Instagram because of its video product Reels.
“Reels also continue to become more social with people resharing Reels more than two billion times every day, doubling over the last six months,” Zuckerberg said on a transcript of the earnings call.
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