Instagram Is Testing Out A New Feature That Automatically Posts All Video Content As Reels Across The Platform

Instagram is testing out an expansion of its Reels format, wherein any and all videos on the platform will be published as reels, regardless of length or aspect ratio.

Reels were initially launched by Instagram as a form of competition to TikTok. The latter’s been the focus of a lot of rising contention from many other platforms, with Snapchat and YouTube also coming out with their own versions of the platform (and Reddit buying DubSmash, but no one remembers that). Instagram, and by extension Reels, provides an edge to the contest that the other platforms don’t do quite as well, however. Instagram is a platform that, much like TikTok, continues to be heavily popular with younger generations. It’s also a platform that relies almost entirely on visual media to run the game, foregoing Facebook’s need for timelines and long bios. All of this may just account for the current success that Reels is enjoying, with the number of users on the sub-platform reaching millions. Instagram’s also planning on sponsorship projects to entice more and more creators on the platform, really giving TikTok a run for its money in the process.

Reels has also been enjoying a lot of love from the Instagram community at large, with the format contributing literal billions of views to the platform. With the ‘gram being as ad intensive as it is, every view counts and contributes a lot of money to everyone’s pocket. It’s also why influencers and content creators started establishing themselves across the platform before Reels ever existed. With this new format of video content, creators can make relatively low budget videos and still connect with audiences across the world. Maybe that’s why Instagram decided to go all-in on the concept, as purported by a Twitter screenshot added by @hammondoh91, and further corroborated by social media journalist Matt Navarra.

Reels have a rather distinct look to them. They’re short, with the longest videos going up to 40 seconds. Reels are also typically shot in vertical, much like the way that TikTok enables its userbase to do that and no more. Therefore, the platform’s recent A/B testing of having all video content be posted as Reels is perplexing, to say the least. Sure, maybe forcing all users to by default only post Reels will boost numbers, but to what end? Reels and typical videos are so distinct that labelling themselves the same way will undoubtedly cause confusion for the vast majority of the userbase. Either way, this is all going to be a rather interesting addition to the interface, if it actually comes out of pre-production.

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