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Latest changes to Instagram videos (updates and trends)

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Meta continues its commitment to Instagram videos and increases the length of its Stories

As a fundamental part of the digital universe, social networks are in a constant process of improvement according to the needs of users and new trends. This time, the latest innovation comes from Instagram videos: the platform is extending the length of its Stories from 15 to 60 seconds, as reported by the US media TechCrunch.

After extending Reels to 90 seconds, Instagram is doing the same with its successful Stories (whose format imitates the essence of Snapchat). In this way, users around the world can now record videos of up to one minute to publish them without cuts for 24 hours or save them in Highlights. Until now, the maximum was 15 seconds; after that, Instagram cut the recording and uploaded the small cuts consecutively. This operation will remain in force, but with the extension of 60 seconds per clip.

what are the advantages and disadvantages of this new feature?

As usual, Instagram has been carrying out tests with certain users since last year before launching this tool globally. As always, the aim is to analyse the behaviour of the different profiles with regard to the possible update. In this case, the balance has been positive, confirming its implementation for the rest of the users. Even so, like all new features, it has its ups and downs that should not be overlooked:

  • advantages: For creators, it means the possibility of sharing longer videos without cuts every 15 seconds, reducing the number of published Stories; on the other hand, it facilitates viewing by consumers, as they will not have to continuously press the mobile screen to skip many small videos that may not be of interest to them; and on the other hand, it facilitates viewing by consumers, as they will not have to continuously press the mobile screen to skip many small videos that may not be of interest to them.
  • drawbacks: Just as Twitter was criticised when it increased the number of characters per tweet, Instagram may face the same criticism from users who prefer the simplicity and instantaneousness of short videos. After all, they are the difference between YouTube and the other social networks that allow the publication of videos. In addition, this large increase in the length of Instagram videos blurs the line between Reels and Stories.

Instagram's new video features demonstrate its commitment to audio-visuals

Although Instagram achieved its current popularity thanks to the still image and its differentiation from other social networks, the platform's trend is changing. Reels, Stories, live videos... All these new features, whose functions are constantly being updated, confirm Instagram's commitment to audiovisuals as the ideal communication format for the future (or the present).

This trend is confirmed not only by Instagram Stories or its different possibilities, but also by the changes in other social networks. It can be seen on Twitter with videos, GIFs, its attempt to incorporate Stories (whose rectification came after a wave of criticism from users) or even the new Spaces that allow different profiles to connect live via audio. It can also be seen on Facebook with Stories and Reels, as it is a function of Meta.

But if we have to blame one application in particular for the rise of the moving image, it would be TikTok. The Chinese social network has been a revolution for consumers of digital content, especially among the youngest. After the popularisation of this platform, which demonstrates the importance of video in the digital era, Instagram seems to have activated the turbo to experiment with the possibilities of the moving image.

do users want Instagram to look more and more like TikTok?

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, officially reported this trend earlier this year on Twitter: "We're going to rethink what Instagram is, because the world is changing fast and we're going to have to change with it. We're going to redouble our focus on video; we're not just a photo-sharing app anymore. Along these lines, Instagram announced new features for collaborating and creating Reels in July. Among other new features, all videos under 15 seconds were automatically published as Reels.

A few days later, the photographer Tati launched a campaign under the slogan "Make Instagram Instagram Instagram Again", which the Kardashian sisters shared on their respective profiles, initiating a movement critical of the audiovisual trend of the social network. The petition, which has more than 300,000 signatures, demands that Instagram "stop trying to be TikTok": "The only Reels published are recycled TikToks and content that the world has already seen", the photographer denounces.

In response, Mosseri reflected on this issue again in another informative video: "Eventually, I think most of the content on Instagram will be videos. We see this even if we don't change anything [...] We're going to have to lean into that change while continuing to support photos". So while Instagram remains the leader in still images, it has a clear goal: to increase its competitiveness in video by adapting to the new demands of the digital environment.

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