Instagram announced today, new video posts shorter than 15 minutes will now be shared as rolls. Videos posted before this change will remain as videos and will not become reels. The company started testing this change a few weeks ago and will make it permanent in the coming weeks. The change is part of Instagram’s efforts to provide a more immersive full-screen experience, Instagram says. The company is also consolidating the Video and Reels tabs on users’ profiles into one to create a single home for all the video in the app.
With this change, if your account is public and you post a video that is eventually turned into a reel, anyone can discover your reel and use your original audio to create their own reel. If your account is set to private, your role will only be visible to your followers. Once you post a role, anyone can remix your role if your account is public. However, you can prevent people from remixing your roles in your account settings.
The change is likely to upset some users as it may pose some challenges. For example, it can be difficult to post a horizontal video if it is uploaded to a vertical Reels format.
The move isn’t exactly unexpected, though, especially as Instagram has hinted toward its plans to simplify video on the app. Last year, when Instagram head Adam Mosseri made up Instagram’s priorities for 2022, he said the company would double down on video and focus on Reels. He even hinted that Instagram would consolidate all of its video products around Reels and continue to grow the short product, indicating that this change may have always been the plan.
In addition to this change, Instagram also announced that it is introducing new ways for users to create and share roles. The social media giant is introducing a new “dual” feature that allows users to record content and their response at the same time. You can record with the front and back camera of your phone at the same time to share a different perspective with the Dual feature in the Instagram camera.
The company is also expanding Reels Remix, the version of TikTok Duets. Instagram is launching expanded Remix layouts that allow users to choose between green screen, horizontal or vertical split screen, or picture-in-picture reaction view, allowing users to add their own video comments to existing roles. There is also a new “Photo Remix” option that allows users to remix public photos. Additionally, instead of your remix appearing at the same time as the original roll, you can now add your clip after the original so that it plays sequentially.
“We’re always working on ways to improve your Instagram experience,” the company said in a blog post. “We will continue to build features that make it easier and more fun to create and share roles on Instagram.”
The changes come because Meta has made a lot of bets on roles. As part of its Q1 2022 earnings, the company revealed that roles now make up more than 20% of the time people spend on Instagram. Unsurprisingly, Instagram is looking to expand Reels even further by replacing video posts altogether, as it could now probably brag about people spending even more time watching Reels.