5 new features on Instagram – August 2022
The fact that the recent changes are mainly aimed at improving the experience of Reels is no surprise. Not only is Instagram excited about their short-format videos, but TikTok has turned the entire industry around and responded to all of our shrinking attention spans: short-form video it is. Back in the first quarter of the year, Meta published that reels would already account for 20% of time spent on Instagram.
And although users criticized Instagram at the end of July/beginning of August 2022, especially because of its video initiatives, the company remains determined to push Instagram Reels. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced these ambitions already at the end of 2021 when he talked about the general ideas for 2022.
2022 Priorities 📝— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) December 28, 2021
This next year is going to be pivotal for Instagram. In addition to our industry-leading safety and wellbeing efforts, we’re focused on these four key priorities.
Hope you’re all able to get some rest over the holidays. See you in the New Year! ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/iY8uQ1EnMZ
From now on it’s Video = Reels on Instagram
Any video content shorter than 15 minutes will be published as Instagram Reels from now on. Instagram states on its own blog, “Because Reels offer a more exciting and entertaining way to share, […] we’re bringing these creative tools and full-screen experience to your video posts, too.”
Previously, publishing as Reels only applied to videos under 90 seconds. A few weeks ago, the update was already tested and is now expected to be rolled out permanently in the coming weeks. In the Discovery feeds, all videos, now Reels, will supposedly be recommended to more people and thus seen by more people. When private accounts share videos or reels, they remain private and are only shown to friends.
Therefore, Instagram is also changing the layout of profiles slightly by making the “Video” and “Reels” tabs one, “to create a single home for all videos in the app.” That means videos posted before the change, or even those that are just longer than 15 minutes, such as saved Instagram Lives, will from now on only be found under “Reels” on profiles.
Why the limit is at 15 minutes is unclear. The extent to which horizontal videos are converted to the vertical reels format could also provoke displeasure among users.
More Creativity When Creating Instagram Reels?
The “rebranding” of videos is not the only innovation for Instagram Reels. With the help of templates and a dual camera, creativity in creating Instagram Reels should be further encouraged.
Lacking inspiration for your next Reels? By “Use Template”, which you can find above the description on some reels, you can preload audio and video placeholders and easily and quickly edit Instagram Reels yourself. Instagram says to simply click the camera icon on the “Reels” tab to find more templates, but not every reel can be used as a template. The reason for this is unclear.
The new dual camera function, which allows users to capture content and their reaction at the same time, is very reminiscent of the social media hit BeReal. The app has become known as the anti-Instagram, as it is clearly against curated and staged content, and the concept of the app hardly allows for it.
Of course, BeReal’s dual camera feature differs with Instagram’s update, as Instagram by no means limits content in time or in any other way. TechCrunch doubts that this feature will be well received by Instagram users. Especially in view of the current criticism “Make Instagram Instagram Again”, a positive reaction seems rather unlikely.
Improved Remix Options for More Collabs
The new remix options are for both photos and reels, and are primarily intended to encourage collaboration between users and influencers. Soon creators will be able to remix public photos, “the possibilities are endless”.
Image by Meta
The remix feature for Reels is very reminiscent of TikTok Duets. Creators can choose between a green, horizontal or vertical split screen or a picture-in-picture view and add their own comments to existing videos. In addition, the original reel can be played first, followed by the remix.
Reels Booster for Brands and Businesses
Instagram, like any other social network, is working on ways to improve content monetization and ads structures on its platforms. Now brands and businesses can turn Reels into ads to increase their reach.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you want to boost Reels: your content must be 100% original, less than 60 seconds long, and in 9:16 aspect ratio. Then, after publishing the Instagram Reels, simply click “Boost Post”. Your boosted content will appear in both the main Instagram feed, Stories, under “Reels,” and on the Discovery Page. Mosseri, in his recent tweet on August 10, encourages users to shape their Instagram experience the way they want it and to mark ads and content they do not like or are not interested in displayed content. Quality, therefore, remains especially important for marketing campaigns.
Respond to Stories From Now on With Your Avatar
There is one more new feature that does in fact not relate to Instagram Reels. With the avatar options Meta pushes the efforts to a metaverse, because with this virtual representation these online interactions can be normalized and ritualized.
Already, thanks to VR, users interact as cartoon-like images of themselves in immersive spaces. These avatars are intended to accustom even those who have not yet used to the new technologies such as VR. It is also Meta’s way of expanding online personalities and presence. The avatars are available to selected users so far.
Image by Pururaj Dutta