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The Changing Format of Instagram Reels

By now you have likely heard of Instagram Reels, if not used them yourself. When Instagram launched their new video format in August of 2020, their answer to TikTok’s massive rise in popularity, users were able to upload up to fifteen seconds of primarily vertical videos that they could edit, add music to, and share in-app. While much has changed since then, there’s no doubt that short-form video content has become increasingly popular on social media and the Internet as a whole in recent years, starting with the now defunct Vine app. And now, vertical video content is only becoming more prevalent. 

What Changed with Instagram Reels?

In July of 2022, Meta (also known as Facebook) announced that all videos uploaded to Instagram would now upload as Reels. By now, nearly all videos on the platform will be following this format. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. These videos will follow the full-screen nature Reels have had implemented for a long time now, and include enhanced editing and formatting options, such as dual-screen, recording both what is in front of you and your own personal reaction. The only exception to the Reels rule is that videos over fifteen minutes long will still be posted as traditional videos, and videos posted before the change will stay as they are. 

While Instagram users have not exactly been gunning for this change, it does make sense for the platform. Reels is the fastest-growing formatting option in the app, taking its place over traditional feed posts and Instagram Live streaming. However, this format change makes it much more difficult for horizontal content. 

Adapting Your Social Strategy

As previously mentioned, this change is not exactly the most popular choice for users, and comes off primarily as a way for Meta to attempt and close the gap between them and their competition. If nothing else, TikTok has proven that this format works. However, this changes things for many social media managers, personal accounts, and businesses worldwide. Horizontal content has been the primary “professional” way of posting video content to social media, but no longer can be done without intensely adjusting aspect ratios and working with Instagram’s provided Reels formats. 

It does not look like this will be changing anytime soon, so we adapt. Rather than attempting to bypass the Reels rule with videos longer than fifteen minutes, adjust your Instagram strategy to play into the change. Reels offers a multitude of editing, formatting, and music options, along with making it easy to play into social media trends with popular audio. While we advise against copying your existing TikTok social media strategy, use it as a guide. Every platform is different, but similar functions and formats can help you find your niche. 

Reels are here to stay, but social media is constantly changing. If your business needs a helping hand adjusting to an ever-changing social and digital landscape, get in touch with AdVentures Media Solutions! We offer a multitude of social media marketing options, such as Instagram Reels, to help you build a lasting connection with your audience. 

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