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Why New Instagram Videos Under 15 Minutes Become Reels

Social Media Marketing

Seeing the rising popularity of "Reels," Instagram has decided to automatically place all videos (if your account is public) under 15 minutes into this new section.

Why has Instagram made this change, and how will it affect social media influencers and managers?

Learn all of this and more from our Miami internet marketing experts!

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a micro-video sharing service similar to TikTok. Reels began with 15-second videos and has since expanded to include videos up to 90 second long. The app provides users with high-end video editing tools and the ability to share their videos with the rest of the world without needing a high-end computer.

A Reel can be created in the Instagram app or imported from another source. IG users can also add music from a Reels-licensed music library to their videos.  

It can be challenging to find the perfect 15 seconds of music. But Reels makes it very simple to use a famous music clip from the most recent dance challenge videos.

What's The Main Instagram Update?

Last July 21, 2022, Instagram announced that all new video posts shorter than 15 minutes would be automatically distributed as Reels. Videos uploaded before this update will continue to be in the old format. The Videos and Reels tabs will be combined to form a single section for all videos.

What Changed With The Instagram Update?

The most recent Instagram update included the following three major changes:

  • If your account is public and you add a video to be made into Reels, anyone can watch it and use the original audio to make their own Reels.
  • If your account is private, followers will only be able to watch your Reels.
  • Anybody can remix your Reels as long as your account is public. But remixing can be stopped in your account settings.

In addition, the new Reels update introduced the Dual Camera feature, allowing users to record content and their reactions to it on both the main and front cameras simultaneously.

Instagram dual camera feature

Instagram has also updated the Reels Template feature. When you open the Reels camera, you can now view multiple templates, and upload photos and videos to the one you want all at once. Meta also allowed the creation of new Reels with the audio and format of an existing one in June 2022.

Furthermore, Reels Remix, the company's own version of TikTok Duets, was expanded. To add your video commentary to existing Reels, you can choose between a green screen, a horizontal or a vertical split screen, and a picture-in-picture view. The remix will be available for photos as well.

Instagram Reels remix feature

What Prompted Instagram to Make These Changes?

Those who have been following Instagram's corporate communications should not be too surprised by the change.

Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, announced a year ago that video and Reels would become the app's new focal point. Even more obliquely, he implied that Instagram might concentrate its video offerings on Reels rather than continue providing content in many formats.

According to a blog post published by the company, "We are constantly working to improve your Instagram experience. We intend to continue developing new features to make creating and sharing Instagram Reels easier and more enjoyable."

Meta claims that this change is permanent, and users will undoubtedly be able to enjoy a full-screen immersive environment.

What Challenges Does This New Instagram Update Present?

The latest update may make certain aspects of Instagram more difficult for some users. The app is best known as a platform for sharing photos and videos, allowing users to record videos in vertical and horizontal orientations.

However, because the Reels format prefers vertical videos, horizontal videos may have their ends cut off when played in the Reels format.

Will The Update Affect Instagram Reel Metrics?

The short answer is YES. Instagram will no longer provide the metrics listed below for all videos under 15 minutes in length:

  • Impressions: Instagram will only report the number of unique viewers for videos under 15 minutes (reach). Even for albums with videos, impressions should still be given.
  • Video Views: Videos less than 15 minutes long will no longer have a 3-second video view.

Instead, Instagram will provide the following insights, similar to the metrics already available for Reels.

  • Plays: This is how many times a Reel starts playing. It's defined as video sessions with at least one millisecond of playback, but not replays. This metric is most like a metric that measures how many people see something.
  • Reach: This is the number of different accounts that have played a Reel at least once. Reach differs from impressions, which can be made when the same account plays a Reel more than once.

Where Can I Find The Instagram Reels Metrics?

Instagram Reels analytics are always available in the Insights menu of your Instagram app. IG Reels analytics can also be found using any third-party analytics tool with API access.

Social media analytics tools like Sprout Social, HubSpot, BuzzSumo, and others allow you to compare your Instagram Reels to your TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and other accounts.

You can use these tools to analyze your Reels videos individually or in conjunction with other social media platforms as part of an ongoing cross-platform measurement social strategy.

How Will The Instagram Reels Update Affect Social Campaign KPIs?

Impressions are an essential measurement for many cross-platform campaigns. Therefore, if tracking impressions is something you do, you need to be aware of the impact that this update will have on that measurement.

When analyzing a campaign's performance, it is essential to remember that IG videos will only include impressions from the first half of 2022. However, they will no longer have impressions gained from videos shorter than 15 minutes.

Moving forward, impressions will continue to be a metric shared for Instagram posts.

How Important Are Instagram Reels For My Brand?

There has never been a better time for people and businesses to put their faith in Reels. Your account will see greater reach and engagement with Reels than with any other content format at the moment, thanks to their newfound prominence in the Instagram feed algorithm.

Our Advice: Break out of your comfort zone! Challenge yourself by trying out new structures, topics, and concepts. In Reels, success isn't measured by how widely shared a video is but by how effectively its content engages and expands its existing audience.

Take Advantage of IG Reels

Sharing your Reels on your feed, staying up to date on trends, posting regularly, using eye-catching thumbnails, including closed captions, and making original content will make your brand stand out on Instagram.

So, don't be afraid of Instagram's new update. Use your imagination to develop IG Reels that will get people's attention.

Digital Resource is an internet marketing company in Miami that you can trust. We can help you get started if you're having trouble developing a solid content marketing strategy that will set you apart from your competitors.

Our team of marketing experts and SEO experts will make a custom content marketing plan for you that will boost your online visibility and help you reach your business goals. Get started now by contacting us!

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