After essentially copying TikTok’s short video format, Instagram is taking another bold step towards becoming the app it appears to admire so much. The company is reportedly considering turning all of its videos into Reels. If this decision goes through, you won’t be able to post a casual video of, say, your cat snoozing, on your grid anymore: you’ll have to make it a Reel instead.
This might seem like no big deal, because, after all, there aren’t a ton of differences between Instagram Reels and Instagram videos. The main differences are that creators have access to a music library, editing tools, and more filters on Reels than they do on videos, they can use audio from other creators in Reels but not in normal videos, and they can create a “remix” on Reels, which you can’t do on regular Instagram video. Remix is a feature that also copies TikTok’s Duet function, which lets creators make their own Reel directly next to a Reel that already exists. Basically, it reads like Instagram wants you to stop posting videos altogether — and start posting Reels instead. Reels are also more discoverable than regular videos, thanks to the good ol’ Reels discover page on Instagram.
Social media consultant Matt Navarra posted a screenshot on Thursday that Instagram is testing the feature with some users. When they go to upload a video post, users are told that “video posts are now shared as Reels.”
On Twitter user, senior news reporter for VICE World News Sophia Smith Galer, pointed out that this will be tough for videos that are uploaded in a horizontal or square format — how will that look on the Reels page? Will it cut the video off on the sides, will it do that terrible blurring effect to keep it on your screen, or will it just black out the edges? And another user wondered if that means all videos will be kept to a 90-second time limit. Instagram did not immediately respond to Mashable’s request for comment, but a representative told TechCrunch that the company is “testing this feature as part of our efforts to simplify and improve the video experience on Instagram.”