Instagram could completely scrap video posts in favour of Reels if the company’s current tests prove successful. The change is currently being tested with select users around the globe and is part of Instagram’s plan to simplify video on the app, TechCrunch reported.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company was testing the feature as part of its efforts to simplify and improve Instagram’s video experience.
A screenshot on Twitter by social media consultant Matt Navarra shows that people involved in the test will see an in-app message saying “video posts are now shared as Reels”.
The message indicates that if an Instagram account is public and a video posted ends up being turned into a Reel, anyone can discover the Reel and use the original audio to create their own Reel. If the account is private, the Reel will only be visible to followers. The message also notes that once a Reel is posted, anyone can create a remix with the Reel if the account is public. However, people can be prevented from remixing the Reels by changing the account settings.
It is still not known when or if Instagram will roll out the change. If the change does become permanent, it may pose challenges — it could be difficult to post horizontal videos in a vertical Reels format. Instagram also did not say how the change would affect current videos.
Meta has been betting big on Reels and revealed, as part of the company’s Q1 2022 earnings, that it made up more than 20% of the time that people spent on Instagram.
Last year, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the app was “no longer a photo-sharing app”. He said the company was prioritising a shift into video amid competition from YouTube and TikTok. Instagram has already combined IGTV’s long-form video and Instagram Feed videos into a simple format called Instagram Video.