instagram experiments

Instagram Tests Longer Videos in Stories, New Stories-to-Reels Links, as Part of Broader Video Integration

As part of its wider shift towards video content, to maximize user engagement, Instagram is experimenting with two new options that would more integrate its many video functions, following the merger of IGTV into its broader Instagram Video present.

First off, Instagram is experimenting with new, longer video uploads in Stories, with videos of up to a minute in the period, no longer being cut down into shorter parts.

Instagram longer videos in Stories notification

As you can view in this screenshot, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, this new information is currently convening in the back-end of the Instagram app, which will ultimately inform users of the update.

That’ll enable you to post full Reels clips to your Stories. Reels clips were increased to 60 seconds back in July, and with this enlargement in Stories, that’ll mean that you can just upload your entire Reel to Stories as well, or of to the particular Reels feed.

Which could perform this second update in experimenting somewhat obsolete.

Instagram Stories to Reels sharing

As you can see in this ex., posted by Ahmed Ghanem (and shared by Matt Navarra), Instagram is also experimenting with a new option that would redirect users to complete Reels clips from Stories, when you share your Reels to Stories as well.

This is intended to build more awareness of the app’s many video tools, and make them all together, which is Instagram’s real, full aim, as it moves further away from its ‘conventional photo sharing’ roots.

Back in January, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri hailed a coming merger of the app’s video products, intending to streamline content creation and process and scale back the platform’s several tools.

As Mosseri told Decoder:

“We’re seeing about how we can – not only with IGTV but across all of Instagram – clarify and combine ideas, because last year we put a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on purity and craft.”

Much of the conversation in that podcast chat centered on the difficulties posed by TikTok, and how Instagram was looking to adopt. Mosseri noted that TikTok had become the lead on various fronts, which it’s extended to expand since.

This is why these new experiments make sense. By streamlining the app, that’ll make it easier for Instagram to put an extra specific center on the key factors making the most in-app engagement – especially Stories and Reels – while also expanding the audience for both through the integrated performance.

Which does also reduces the differentiation between them. But that’s the kind of the point – ideally, Instagram users will ultimately be able to log in and see a single stream of the most charming content in the app, sourced from its various forms, and aligned with their interests, which would then expand the pool of content that Instagram’s algorithms can draw on to keep users engaged.

On TikTok, you start up to the ‘For You’ feed – a full-screen, immersive, endless stream of the videos that the algorithm has selected for you. You can then turn to the ‘Following’ feed (less engaging), or the Live display, the top contents of each will make it into your For You stuff anyway, and you can search based on trends and keywords.

TikTok screenshots

It’s easy, honest, and it assures that all of the best, most engaging content is highlighted to each person, every time they log in.
On Instagram, you have to tap into Stories and Reels especially, and while Explore can be helpful for browsing, it’s not performed in an up-front stream the way content is shown on TikTok.

This is the difficulty that Instagram’s looking to solve, decreasing conflict, confusion and increasing the extent of content that its system can choose from to keep you glued to the app.

This is why, ultimately, we’ll see the end of the regular Instagram feed, with Stories and Reels to become the principal focus, in a simplified display. The retirement of IGTV was only the start, with these new tests leading to the next phase of full content integration in the app.

We’ll keep you updated on any progress.

Vikas Rathour

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