As you can see in this example, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), some users are now seeing the option to create Reels of up to a minute and a half long, giving you an extra 30 seconds on top of the current 60-second limit.
Instagram first began testing longer Reels in February, with various users seeing the option appear in the app ever since. We asked Instagram if this update is being rolled out to all users, and they told us that, at present, this is only in testing, with no official plan for a broader expansion just yet.
Instagram’s currently in the process of re-aligning its video offerings around the Reels format, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noting back in December that:
“We’re going to double-down on our focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels”
Instagram retired its IGTV brand back in October, when it announced the broader merger of its video offerings, and with this, it makes sense for the platform to also make Reels longer, in order to better integrate its various video offerings into a singular content stream.
Worth also noting that in its latest earnings call, Meta reported that Reels now makes up more than 20% of the total time that people spend on Instagram, underlining the popularity of the format – even though its a direct copy of TikTok.
The next step, then, will be to reduce the length of all video uploads (users are still able to upload video clips up to an hour long through the post composer), which will bring everything into greater alignment, in order to facilitate the next stage of Instagram’s content shift.
Which will likely be this:
Worth noting, too, that Instagram removed its in-stream video ad placements option earlier this month, which also aligns with this broader push towards making video content more compact, and translating all of its content into a full-screen, immersive, TikTok-like feed, moving into line with emerging habitual behaviors.
Instagram hasn’t shared any info about this next stage, but that seems like the logical conclusion, which will be a big change for the app, though one that makes a lot of sense.
Longer Reels is another step in this, and while it’s not being made available to everyone just yet, it is gradually being expanded to more users over time.