Meta has confirmed that Instagram is testing a change that converts video posts to Reels. The company says the change is part of the platform’s plan to streamline video. The change is currently being tested with select users around the world.
A Meta spokesperson said: “We are testing this feature as part of our effort to simplify and improve the video experience across Instagram.
A screenshot posted by social media consultant Matt Navarra on Twitter shows that people who took part in the test see a message within the app that says: Video posts are now shared as Reels.
The message states that if your account is public and you post a video converted to a Reel, anyone can discover that Reel and use the clip’s original audio to create their own Reel. And if your account is set to private, the Reel clip is visible only to your followers.
The message also notes that once a Reel is published, anyone can create a clip via the Remix feature using Reel if your account is public. However, you can prevent people from using the Remix feature across your Reels clips in your account settings.
As with any other test, it is not known when or if Instagram plans to roll out the change more widely.
And if change becomes permanent, it may pose some challenges. For example, it can be difficult to post a landscape video if it is uploaded in vertical Reels format. In addition, Instagram did not say how this change might affect existing videos across the platform.
Instagram wants to get rid of video posts in favor of Reels
The test comes as Meta is betting big on Reels. As part of announcing its earnings for the first quarter of 2022, the company revealed that Reels now makes up more than 20% of the time people spend on Instagram.
Not surprisingly, Instagram is looking to expand Reels even further by replacing video posts. And if the platform implements this change, it can say that people are spending more time watching Reels.
And Adam Mosseri said last year that the app was no longer a photo-sharing app. He pointed out that the company prioritizes switching to video amid great competition from Tik Tok and YouTube.
And the company has taken a step toward its larger goal of making video a more central part of its experience by combining long-form IGTV videos and feed videos into a new format called Instagram Video.
And if Instagram decides to convert all video uploads to Reels, that leads to the incorporation of the company’s video elements further.
And when Mosseri last year outlined Instagram’s priorities for 2022, he said the company was doubling down on its video business and focusing on Reels.
He also hinted that Instagram may integrate all of its video products around Reels and continue product development. This suggests that this change may be the plan.