Instagram’s Testing Longer Reels to Maximize Engagement


Instagram’s expanding its test of longer Reels video uploads, with some users now able to upload 3 minute long Reels in the app.

3 Minute Reels

As you can see in this example, posted by Justin Jarvis (and shared by Matt Navarra), some users are now being prompted to upload 3 minute videos for their Reels, up from the current 90 second limit.

Which Instagram has actually been experimenting with for some time, with 10 minute uploads also in early examination at IG HQ.

Instagram Reels longer clips

This is the first time that it’s been seen in live testing, however, though you can only use pre-recorded videos as longer Reels uploads, as opposed to capturing them via the Reels camera.

Longer videos are the trend of the moment on TikTok as well, as it looks to broaden user behaviors, and provide more content to keep people engaged. This week, TikTok has launched its new Creator Rewards Program, which provides cash incentives for users who upload longer video clips.

Instagram has also been prompting users to upload longer Reels to boost engagement.

Instagram Reels prompt

Longer watch time means more entertainment, and as social apps move away from the social elements, keeping them interested is the new key for ongoing app growth.

It also facilitates more monetization opportunities, through in-stream ads, and with so many people now watching Reels content, it makes sense for Meta to experiment with the format, to see what users will stick around for, and what it can get out of it.

In January, Meta reported that Reels consumption is up 20% year-over-year, with its AI-based content recommendations helping to maximize growth, and boost both Facebook and IG usage.

Long Reels, then, seems like the next step.

We’ve asked Instagram for more info on this test, and we’ll update if/when we hear back.

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